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If you're weighing the costs of testing workers to predict future disabilities, don't forget to count the attorney fees.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently called genetic testing by employers "an egregious violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act."

Employers can require employees to take medical exams only if the exams are job related and consistent with a business necessity. The EEOC says tests that gauge the possibility of future disabilities are unlikely to be relevant to an employee's current ability to perform the job. Several states also have passed legislation prohibiting genetic testing.

Most employers are staying away from it, for cost and legal reasons. In a survey of 2,000 employers last year, the American Management Association found only seven companies performing genetic tests.

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