SHOULD CIVIL RIGHTS REALLY BE
SUBSERVIENT TO COMMERCIAL RIGHTS?
For most of us in America, the thought that a business could require its workers to undergo a medical procedure in order to gain or retain employment is anathema to everything we believe in as a nation.
Some have argued that regulating businesses by banning such “contracts” is unnecessary government regulation and intervention in the economy. To the contrary, government in the United States of America was formed for a purpose - to protect our most fundamental liberties.
What is more important than bodily autonomy with regard to medical decisions?
Medical decisions are innately personal. From the provider one chooses to the treatments administered, it is not the role of the employer to ask, let alone to intervene. Every such decision requires one to carefully weigh the costs and benefits to the individual based on the best available information and their own personal risk factors. Such intimate and intricate matters should never be the subject of sweeping declarations by those less interested in the welfare of the individual than the individual him or herself.
If an employee is unable to perform the tasks required for the job, that is a different issue altogether and can easily be determined independent of an employee turning over his or her medical records.
What reasonable limitations ought to exist on employers?
To say that businesses in Utah can hire or fire anybody they want for any reason is true, but with exceptions. As a nation, we have determined that some reasons aren’t good enough, including race, age, religion, and disability, among others. Whether you agree with those limitations on businesses or not, they exist. It makes no sense to allow employers to require medical documentation for some things but ban it for others. Either personal medical information is private or it isn’t; either choices about medical procedures rest with the individual or they don’t.
The state of Utah has the responsibility to protect individuals from the coercive, abusive behavior of controlling employers who believe it is their right to make medical decisions for their employees with a sweeping, one-size-fits-all mandate. And while individuals have the right to run their businesses as they see fit, commercial rights must always be subservient to the fundamental right to choose not to engage in non-employment-related actions with which one fundamentally disagrees.
Let’s keep it that way.