By Elinor Rayne Smith
On Friday, September 26, 2003, the House passed a measure that allowes for the screening of mutant genes in job applicants. Employers of many Fortune 500 companies and insurance companies have been pushing for this right since the mutant situation was made public back in early June of this year.
Much like drug testing currently allowed by employers, all persons applying for positions, particularly those in the manufacturing and public service sector, will be required to submit to a blood test at the discretion of their employer. A new testing system, called the MG-342 advanced screening process, allows for the quick identification of an anomaly in an individual's genetic make-up that, according to recent studies, accurately identifies a mutant 98% of the time. Many employers are hailing the new measure, but civil liberty advocates consider it a bad move.
"This is like any other form of discrimination," said a spokesman for the ACLU, who asked not to be identified. "It's an invasion of privacy. Just because a person is a mutant does not mean they can not perform their job just as well as anybody else. As we do not allow for discrimination based on physical disability, nor should we allow for discrimination based on genetic anomaly."
Civil rights advocates and many mutant rights organizations, such as the Mutant Rights League, say that this measure will lead to a "slippery slope" that will continue to erode away at the rights of mutant citizens, encourage continued violence like the Mutant Massacre in San Francisco last July, and increase discrimination.
Employers, however, claim the measure is necessary to protect their workers. "A mutant presence in the workplace creates an increased risk to the safety of other workers within the company," said Marcus Tetch, owner of Airedale Manufacturing and a major proponent of the current legislation. Insurance companies agree, claiming the liability of mutant workers will raise costs and make it difficult for them to provide service to companies that do not test or allow mutants to be employed.
The measure is set for vote in the Senate next Tuesday. The White House, which has been backing the measure since it's inception, is expected to give final approval if it passes in the Senate.