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Posted: 10/2/2004 3:59:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2004 4:03:13 AM EST by headspace]
smoking

On Jan. 1, all of Weyco Inc.'s 200 employees will be nonsmokers - or lose their jobs.
On that day, the Okemos-based insurance benefits administrator will make it a fireable offense to smoke anywhere, anytime - including in the privacy of an employee's own home after business hours.
"You can do whatever you want, but if you're going to work here, you can't be a smoker, like you can't be a drug user," owner Howard Weyers said.
It's a move sure to spark controversy in a state where nearly 26 percent of all adults smoke.
Nonsmokers who support the policy say it will pare health care costs and improve employees' lives.
"I think it's great. The intent of the policy is to help employees become healthier," said Mari Damerow, a benefits manager for Weyco.
Smokers say it tramples their rights and invades their privacy.
"I think it's pretty stupid," said Cooley Law School student Cal Eustaquio, 42, as he puffed on a torpedo cigar at the Creole Cigar Factory in downtown Lansing. "If other companies go the same way, smokers will be marginalized to the point they go underground."
Strict anti-smoking policies have been drafted elsewhere, but Weyco is believed to be among the first companies in mid-Michigan to institute such a rule, local experts say. CNN, the cable news network, is among employers that have implemented a similar smoking ban from the workplace to the home.
Indeed, there's no law to prevent Weyco from taking such action, said David Houston, an attorney with law firm Dickinson Wright who helped write Weyco's policy.
"This is the U.S. of A., and you, or an employer, can do whatever you want to do as long as it is not prohibited," he said. "There is no constitutionally protected right to smoke."
Under the policy, employees can be tested to determine if they smoke. The test is sensitive enough to distinguish people exposed to secondhand smoke from those who are smokers. Those who fail the test will be fired.
Weyers says the reason for the policy is his concern about health care costs associated with smoking. Studies show smokers are more prone to lung problems, including emphysema and cancer.
Said Weyers: "I don't want to pay for the results of smoking."
In keeping with his mission, Weyers has helped employees quit smoking by paying for cessation methods. He's also paid an acupuncturist to treat employees who thought acupuncture might help them quit.
The policy hasn't been popular with everyone. One employee already has quit, and Weyers said more are likely to either quit or be fired.
"I'm not worried about that," he said.
Weyco isn't the only company smokers need to worry about these days.
A growing number of employers are prohibiting smoking, said John Banzhaf, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, an anti-smoking group with 100,000 members nationwide.
"Smoking adds to the cost of health and disability insurance, and that expense is ultimately borne by the employer and fellow employees," he said.
ASH has helped several employers in court when the policies have been challenged, Banzhaf added. The employers have won every time.
Still, those who disagree with the policy contend it goes too far.
"Where does that kind of thinking stop? Do you not hire employees who smoke or drink or are overweight?" wondered Marshall Kirk, co-owner of the Creole Cigar Factory in downtown Lansing. The American Civil Liberties Union "is going to have a field day with this."
The ACLU of Michigan agrees the policy might be challenged.
"Tobacco is a medical addiction, and there is some question of whether that could fall under the" Americans With Disabilities Act, spokeswoman Wendy Wagenheim said.
"Companies that do something like this are ripe for the picking."
Others oppose such policies because they give employers too much control.
"This is an indicator of how far corporate culture has invaded personal life. It's disconcerting to me that any business would worry about what someone does on their own time in their own home," said Todd Heywood, a former Lansing Community College trustee.
Heywood helped draft a policy when LCC went smoke-free last year. He agreed with making workplaces smoke-free, but drew the line at after-hours smoking.
"A company does not own you when they pay you," he said.


What's next drinking, skydiving or any other activity that could enable you to use your health care benefits.

edited to fix the link
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:02:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By headspace:
What's next drinking, skydiving or any other activity that could enable you to use your health care benefits.



Don't worry. Gun ownership is not far behind.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:03:30 AM EST

I hate smoking, but I hate the nanny-state mentality even more.

Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:05:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2004 4:05:53 AM EST by Lightning_P38]
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:21:24 AM EST
Most medical insurance groups have exclusions for those types of activities.


Originally Posted By headspace:
What's next drinking, skydiving or any other activity that could enable you to use your health care benefits.

Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:27:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2004 4:32:54 AM EST by pale_pony]
Absolutely NO DIFFERENT than random drug tests, stop whining





(yes, I was being facetious)

"This is an indicator of how far corporate culture has invaded personal life. It's disconcerting to me that any business would worry about what someone does on their own time in their own home,"
and it makes me want to This is the same as when Bill Ruger said that he was no longer going to let the company health plan pay for injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents because he didn't like bikes or people who rode them. Step right up folks and trade your personal rights for a little comfort and security, because you don't deserve either.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:30:57 AM EST
Somebody needs to kick Howard Weyers' ass.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:38:02 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:39:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2004 4:42:14 AM EST by FLSTC]
Maybe the next thing they should not allow is childbirth since according to this article:

"Costs associated with complicated births compose the largest single component of employers' health-care expenses."

According to this site www.workforce.com/archive/feature/22/21/02/index.php

What will be next???

edited for link
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:44:31 AM EST
Tag! U R it!
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:44:49 AM EST
Take the asshat to court!

You could win tons of money. Next thing, he'll ban weapon ownership, Republicans, and yes, fucking!
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:46:41 AM EST

Originally Posted By pale_pony:
Absolutely NO DIFFERENT than random drug tests, stop whining

(yes, I was being facetious)

"This is an indicator of how far corporate culture has invaded personal life. It's disconcerting to me that any business would worry about what someone does on their own time in their own home,"
and it makes me want to This is the same as when Bill Ruger said that he was no longer going to let the company health plan pay for injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents because he didn't like bikes or people who rode them. Step right up folks and trade your personal rights for a little comfort and security, because you don't deserve either.




They do those smoking drug tests now -- cuts down on insurance rates they say.

Insurance companies are gonna rule this country - heck they almost do already
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:48:46 AM EST
Well, it seems pretty lame, given the number of smokers.


But I can kinda understand. Insurance companies charge more or even deny coverage to smokers, due to the known health risks. Is that some kind of discrimination? It's just fact - smoking causes several diseases, and diseases need to be treated. Treatment is not cheap.

Sure, driving, skydiving, etc etc is risky, but they don't give you diseases that cost thousands to treat. Driving doesn't cause cancer. Skydiving doesn't cause emphisyma. Those things don't slowly deteriorate your health.

Relating any sort of activity like driving or skydiving, or even things like gun ownership is not even apples to oranges. It's beyond that.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:49:31 AM EST
I don't agree with this at all, but if people want to kill themselves slowly, you can't stop them.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:51:14 AM EST
Who cares? When are we going to stop forcing employers to hire people that they don't want to? What business is it of yours (or the government's) if I don't want to hire smokers, or blacks, or jews, or people that drive green cars, or brunettes, or women with implants? If an employer chooses to miss out on a good employee for the above reasons, then that's their problem. Do you really want to work for someone (and make money for that person) if they secretely wish you were dead but are forced by public perception and .gov interference to hire you?

My old email address was firearms related. When I was getting out of college I had it on my resume, and my mother told me what a bad idea it was, and how I was going to hurt my chances of getting hired. The second interview I went on the interviewer noticed it and asked me about it. I told him the truth, and we wound up talking about guns for half the interview. I got the job offer.

I think it's no secret how much I hate smoking and how disgusting I think it is. I don't know a single smoker who is the most productiver person in their company/division. They, without fail, have more sick days and spend more time on breaks ("I gotta take a smoke break") than their counterparts. If a company chooses not to hire, or to fire, you because you smoke, I think it should be their right. Maybe you can go find some company owner that's a weak-willed junkie like you and you'll have something in common. Change your email to "nicotine_syringe@yahoo.com" and put it on the top of your resume.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:52:54 AM EST
It begs the question why it's still LEGAL

This is schizo, saying it's tantamount to suicide and yet both subsidized and taxed to the point that state governments are dependent on the revenues.

The test will be challenged just like they challenge drug tests in the Olympics and pro athletes. Only trouble is those people have money whereas regular workers will have to depend on the ACLU or pro-bono.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:53:08 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:56:04 AM EST
Guys, read the whole article, this isn't the first company to do this.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:56:52 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:59:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
Insurance companies are gonna rule this country - heck they almost do already

fixed that for you.

and i laugh my ass off everytime i hear an arfcommer whine about seatbelts, helmets and all the other other crap they insist we be controlled under.

the mask of rising insurance costs makes turning individuals into mindless drones an easy task.



this is significantly different. This is not the .gov telling you you can't smoke, it's a private employer. I support the right of anyone to drive without a seatbelt, ride without a helmet, smoke 12 packs a day, snort coke, smoke weed, be queer, be black, hate blacks, attend swinger's clubs, or whatever else. But I also strongly support an employer's right not to hire them. And they shouldn't have to have a reason.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:12:27 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:16:01 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:20:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
this is significantly different.

not really.

no matter 'who' is telling me what i can or can not do...it is the money paid to the insurance companies that is the reason behind the mandate.

an employer...a government...who cares?

all they want is control of our lives so they can control the money.

they already hired these people.

now, they want to change the rules of the game to save a buck or two with geico.

fuck them.



Still, an insurance company is different than .gov, and again it's up to you to work for who you want to, and to them to hire who they want to.

If you don't like insurance companies, don't have any, and damn sure don't make any claims. Buy your house outright & don't take out any insurance, same thing for your car (or bike). Work for yourself and don't get health insurance. It's kind of silly to cry about insurance companies and then make use of them yourself. Bear in mind that insurance wouldn't be nearly as bad as it is without all the fraud. Florida is one of the most expensive states for can insurance. Wanna know why? fraud. Not accidents, not deaths, not bad elderly drivers, but fraud. And ya know what? If you don't like the high rates, you can always move.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:24:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By norman74:

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
this is significantly different.

not really.

no matter 'who' is telling me what i can or can not do...it is the money paid to the insurance companies that is the reason behind the mandate.

an employer...a government...who cares?

all they want is control of our lives so they can control the money.

they already hired these people.

now, they want to change the rules of the game to save a buck or two with geico.

fuck them.



Still, an insurance company is different than .gov, and again it's up to you to work for who you want to, and to them to hire who they want to.

If you don't like insurance companies, don't have any, and damn sure don't make any claims. Buy your house outright & don't take out any insurance, same thing for your car (or bike). Work for yourself and don't get health insurance. It's kind of silly to cry about insurance companies and then make use of them yourself. Bear in mind that insurance wouldn't be nearly as bad as it is without all the fraud. Florida is one of the most expensive states for can insurance. Wanna know why? fraud. Not accidents, not deaths, not bad elderly drivers, but fraud. And ya know what? If you don't like the high rates, you can always move.



Do you think that all the old employees that did smoke before the "BAN" should be exempt ???

And that only new hires be obliged to follow the new rules ???
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:27:46 AM EST
This is utterly insane. I don't smoke myself and find it disgusting, but this is plain stupid and crosses the line of sanity.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:29:48 AM EST

Originally Posted By cyanide:


Do you think that all the old employees that did smoke before the "BAN" should be exempt ???

And that only new hires be obliged to follow the new rules ???



The bottom line is that it shouldn't matter what you or I think. I don't own the company and neither do you. I don't give a shit about "fair".

All this "protect the worker from the evil upper class" is sounding awefully goddamn socialist. You're a commodity. Either you're a worthwhile commodity or you're not. Hell I have to do an employee evaluation on Tuesday and explain to this girl why she's not getting a raise. The simple fact of it is that she's not worth what she's being paid now. To this employer, no employee who smokes is a valuable commodity. I'd support his right to hire & fire who he likes even if this extended to gun ownership, if the 2nd amendment wasn't there to protect it.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:31:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2004 5:36:07 AM EST by Stryfe]

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
If they want to cut back on medical expenses they need to forbid thier employees from driving, that will save them some serious jack, and just think how much more productive they would be without all of that stress that comes from traffic.

Edited to add: I think I will light u a Camek just for them.


There is no stress driving to work in Okemos.
Anyone that thinks so, is welcome to trade places with me.


Edit To Add: +1 on Normans posts. We should all have the right to decide, and that includes employers.
If they lose a valuable member of the team over their decision, it will affect business. This loss may be acceptable to them, but it's up to them to decide.
If you don't like the policy, or can't abide by it, don't work there. No one owes you a job. It's up to you to find out where you fit and what best suits you.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:34:33 AM EST
THIS PISSES ME OFF -

I am a little fucking tired of strangers telling me how to live my life.
I have a few suggestions for employees...but since they ALL violate the COC...im done.

Good luck America...I need to find a better planet
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:35:51 AM EST
try to fire me for smoking in my free time, you get a law suit. i consider my self a considerate smoker but we are losing our right's and we have right's too.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:37:43 AM EST

Sorry Fatboy, no more HO-Ho's and Donuts for you !

Don't drive to work, you might get in an accident.

Don't take a bath, or go to the beach, you might drown.

How about NO MORE HUNTING, you might get shot by a fellow hunter !


Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:38:55 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:40:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2004 5:52:23 AM EST by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:47:53 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:48:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By norman74:

Originally Posted By cyanide:


Do you think that all the old employees that did smoke before the "BAN" should be exempt ???

And that only new hires be obliged to follow the new rules ???



The bottom line is that it shouldn't matter what you or I think. I don't own the company and neither do you. I don't give a shit about "fair".

All this "protect the worker from the evil upper class" is sounding awefully goddamn socialist. You're a commodity. Either you're a worthwhile commodity or you're not. Hell I have to do an employee evaluation on Tuesday and explain to this girl why she's not getting a raise. The simple fact of it is that she's not worth what she's being paid now. To this employer, no employee who smokes is a valuable commodity. I'd support his right to hire & fire who he likes even if this extended to gun ownership, if the 2nd amendment wasn't there to protect it.



I agree with you on this one, except the gun part wasn't clear. I believe that the second amendment, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights, only protects you from the Government. Employers can still choose not to hire gun owners, or Democrats, or Republicans, etc.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:49:23 AM EST

Originally posted by sniper1az
Take the asshat to court!

You could win tons of money. Next thing, he'll ban weapon ownership, Republicans, and yes, fucking!





Originally Posted By shermy:
try to fire me for smoking in my free time, you get a law suit. i consider my self a considerate smoker but we are losing our right's and we have right's too.



And what would you sue under? What law is being broken here? "Smokers" are certainly not a protected class. (I could imagine that POSSIBLY someone might be able to challenge it in a hiring situation, but I find it unlikely - athough admittedly, I'm not an expert).



While this company is demented in their policy, and we all probaby agree that they are assholes, the reaction of some of you REALLY surprise me. For a board populated by people who claim to hate socialism and love America, there sure are a lot of people who hate capitalism and free markets here.

"Waaaah-waaaaaaah - the evil man shouldn't be allowed to run his company that way because I don't like it"

Guess what? This is America. He can run his company any way he freakin' likes, as long as it is not illegal. And the MARKET will decide whether or not it will suceed. If you don't want to work for that company with those policies, quit and go work somewhere else. If his company is PAYING for health insurance for his employees, he has an interest in keeping those costs down - because he isn't hiring you to be your buddy or friend, but to MAKE MONEY!


This whole "nanny state" argument cuts both ways. If you don't want the gov telling you how to live, or curtailing your freedom to do as you want - then you shouldn't expect the govt to tell people how to run their businesses either. Let the market sort it out.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:51:44 AM EST

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
That will fall in a legal challenge before the court. The state supreme court at least will find that unconstitutional.

CJ



Not really... nope. For example, say the company you worked for had a group of employees who only bathed once a month... would it be "unconsitiutional" to fire such an employee? No, it wouldn't. Smoking is becoming less and less acceptable and there is absolutely NO BENEFIT to anyone for smoking. I have never smoked, but from what I have seen, those who started did it because of "peer pressure" or they thought it was "cool" to do. I have yet to see anyone START smoking because it tasted good the first time, or it was pleasant the first time or they loved the small the first time, and if that were true, I'd say it would be a VERY small percentage of smokers. I equate it to the non-hygenic people. It's not illegal to not take baths/showers every day, but there are many people who choose to do so only every so often.

I like my company's policy for smokers... the ONLY designated smoking area is a 7 minute walk away from the office building (over in the parking garage) and employees only get 15 minute breaks. If they are late, they are written up and after so many write-ups, they are "let go". Even company executives have to go to this location to smoke.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:56:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally posted by sniper1az
Take the asshat to court!

You could win tons of money. Next thing, he'll ban weapon ownership, Republicans, and yes, fucking!





Originally Posted By shermy:
try to fire me for smoking in my free time, you get a law suit. i consider my self a considerate smoker but we are losing our right's and we have right's too.



And what would you sue under? What law is being broken here? "Smokers" are certainly not a protected class. (I could imagine that POSSIBLY someone might be able to challenge it in a hiring situation, but I find it unlikely - athough admittedly, I'm not an expert).



While this company is demented in their policy, and we all probaby agree that they are assholes, the reaction of some of you REALLY surprise me. For a board populated by people who claim to hate socialism and love America, there sure are a lot of people who hate capitalism and free markets here.

"Waaaah-waaaaaaah - the evil man shouldn't be allowed to run his company that way because I don't like it"

Guess what? This is America. He can run his company any way he freakin' likes, as long as it is not illegal. And the MARKET will decide whether or not it will suceed. If you don't want to work for that company with those policies, quit and go work somewhere else. If his company is PAYING for health insurance for his employees, he has an interest in keeping those costs down - because he isn't hiring you to be your buddy or friend, but to MAKE MONEY!


This whole "nanny state" argument cuts both ways. If you don't want the gov telling you how to live, or curtailing your freedom to do as you want - then you shouldn't expect the govt to tell people how to run their businesses either. Let the market sort it out.



VERY well stated.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:05:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2004 6:08:41 AM EST by Zaphod]

Originally Posted By AvengeR15:
I hate smoking, but I hate the nanny-state mentality even more.




Amen, brother. I'd be suing this guy even as a non-smoker.

What I do outside the office is none of their damned buiness!


ETA: BTW, if they can descriminate against smokers, they should be allowed to do it against blacks, hispanics, etc. Either it's none of their business or they have the absolute right. None of this in-between sh!t!
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:08:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

I'd be suing this guy even as a non-smoker.




What would you be suing him for? If he fired you for "smoking", what law - being a privately owned (non government) entity - would he have broken?
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:08:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By Helldog40:
How's about we start Body Mass Indexing all the lard-butts in the office and telling them to lose weight or lose their jobs?

Obesity is epidemic in the US and has HUGE health-care costs involved....

Ohhh....now all of a sudden the shoe's on the other foot, huh?

I'm just curious: the ADA has made all kinds of cases where employers have to make "reasonable concessions" to accomodate employee's "disabilities"....try firing a heroin addict that is enrolled in a Methadone clinic....or an alcoholic that DOESN'T drink at work....if nicotine is so addictive, why aren't smokers part of the protected "substance dependent" class?



Actually, Mark, I believe that smokers are covered under ADA now. I seem to recall something about this during the clinton years, when I was a smoker.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:12:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By norman74:

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
Insurance companies are gonna rule this country - heck they almost do already

fixed that for you.

and i laugh my ass off everytime i hear an arfcommer whine about seatbelts, helmets and all the other other crap they insist we be controlled under.

the mask of rising insurance costs makes turning individuals into mindless drones an easy task.



This is significantly different. This is not the .gov telling you you can't smoke, it's a private employer. I support the right of anyone to drive without a seatbelt, ride without a helmet, smoke 12 packs a day, snort coke, smoke weed, be queer, be black, hate blacks, attend swinger's clubs, or whatever else. But I also strongly support an employer's right not to hire them. And they shouldn't have to have a reason.




+1

THAT sums it up very well.

A business should be able to hire and fire anyone for any reason - not to be decide by some bed-wetting liberal that sits behind a desk. THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT SMOKING.

CMOS
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:18:16 AM EST

Originally Posted By headspace:
smoking

On Jan. 1, all of Weyco Inc.'s 200 employees will be nonsmokers - or lose their jobs.
On that day, the Okemos-based insurance benefits administrator will make it a fireable offense to smoke anywhere, anytime - including in the privacy of an employee's own home after business hours.
"You can do whatever you want, but if you're going to work here, you can't be a smoker, like you can't be a drug user," owner Howard Weyers said.
It's a move sure to spark controversy in a state where nearly 26 percent of all adults smoke.
Nonsmokers who support the policy say it will pare health care costs and improve employees' lives.
"I think it's great. The intent of the policy is to help employees become healthier," said Mari Damerow, a benefits manager for Weyco.
Smokers say it tramples their rights and invades their privacy.
"I think it's pretty stupid," said Cooley Law School student Cal Eustaquio, 42, as he puffed on a torpedo cigar at the Creole Cigar Factory in downtown Lansing. "If other companies go the same way, smokers will be marginalized to the point they go underground."
Strict anti-smoking policies have been drafted elsewhere, but Weyco is believed to be among the first companies in mid-Michigan to institute such a rule, local experts say. CNN, the cable news network, is among employers that have implemented a similar smoking ban from the workplace to the home.
Indeed, there's no law to prevent Weyco from taking such action, said David Houston, an attorney with law firm Dickinson Wright who helped write Weyco's policy.
"This is the U.S. of A., and you, or an employer, can do whatever you want to do as long as it is not prohibited," he said. "There is no constitutionally protected right to smoke."
Under the policy, employees can be tested to determine if they smoke. The test is sensitive enough to distinguish people exposed to secondhand smoke from those who are smokers. Those who fail the test will be fired.
Weyers says the reason for the policy is his concern about health care costs associated with smoking. Studies show smokers are more prone to lung problems, including emphysema and cancer.
Said Weyers: "I don't want to pay for the results of smoking."
In keeping with his mission, Weyers has helped employees quit smoking by paying for cessation methods. He's also paid an acupuncturist to treat employees who thought acupuncture might help them quit.
The policy hasn't been popular with everyone. One employee already has quit, and Weyers said more are likely to either quit or be fired.
"I'm not worried about that," he said.
Weyco isn't the only company smokers need to worry about these days.
A growing number of employers are prohibiting smoking, said John Banzhaf, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, an anti-smoking group with 100,000 members nationwide.
"Smoking adds to the cost of health and disability insurance, and that expense is ultimately borne by the employer and fellow employees," he said.
ASH has helped several employers in court when the policies have been challenged, Banzhaf added. The employers have won every time.
Still, those who disagree with the policy contend it goes too far.
"Where does that kind of thinking stop? Do you not hire employees who smoke or drink or are overweight?" wondered Marshall Kirk, co-owner of the Creole Cigar Factory in downtown Lansing. The American Civil Liberties Union "is going to have a field day with this."
The ACLU of Michigan agrees the policy might be challenged.
"Tobacco is a medical addiction, and there is some question of whether that could fall under the" Americans With Disabilities Act, spokeswoman Wendy Wagenheim said.
"Companies that do something like this are ripe for the picking."
Others oppose such policies because they give employers too much control.
"This is an indicator of how far corporate culture has invaded personal life. It's disconcerting to me that any business would worry about what someone does on their own time in their own home," said Todd Heywood, a former Lansing Community College trustee.
Heywood helped draft a policy when LCC went smoke-free last year. He agreed with making workplaces smoke-free, but drew the line at after-hours smoking.
"A company does not own you when they pay you," he said.


What's next drinking, skydiving or any other activity that could enable you to use your health care benefits.

edited to fix the link



I can see if it is at work, it will be a problem, but if you want to smoke at home it is your business and it should be your business and only your business.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:21:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By jtb33:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

I'd be suing this guy even as a non-smoker.




What would you be suing him for? If he fired you for "smoking", what law - being a privately owned (non government) entity - would he have broken?



Who needs a reason these days?

Today it's smoking, tomorrow it's because I roll my 'r"'s properly when speaking Spanish.

Either you are allowed to descriminate, or you aren't. This half-and-half stuff is rediculuous. The lawsuite would hopefuly make it one way or the other (I'd prefer the "I don't like the cleft in your chin, so I won't hire you" ability than the "I have to hire you despite your propensity to hump the neighbor's dog" side, believe me....)
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:25:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

Originally Posted By jtb33:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

I'd be suing this guy even as a non-smoker.




What would you be suing him for? If he fired you for "smoking", what law - being a privately owned (non government) entity - would he have broken?



Who needs a reason these days?

Today it's smoking, tomorrow it's because I roll my 'r"'s properly when speaking Spanish.

Either you are allowed to descriminate, or you aren't. This half-and-half stuff is rediculuous. The lawsuite would hopefuly make it one way or the other (I'd prefer the "I don't like the cleft in your chin, so I won't hire you" ability than the "I have to hire you despite your propensity to hump the neighbor's dog" side, believe me....)



For example, say the company you worked for had a group of employees who only bathed once a month... would it be "unconsitiutional" to fire such an employee? No, it wouldn't. Smoking is becoming less and less acceptable and there is absolutely NO BENEFIT to anyone for smoking. I have never smoked, but from what I have seen, those who started did it because of "peer pressure" or they thought it was "cool" to do. I have yet to see anyone START smoking because it tasted good the first time, or it was pleasant the first time or they loved the small the first time, and if that were true, I'd say it would be a VERY small percentage of smokers. I equate it to the non-hygenic people. It's not illegal to not take baths/showers every day, but there are many people who choose to do so only every so often.

I like my company's policy for smokers... the ONLY designated smoking area is a 7 minute walk away from the office building (over in the parking garage) and employees only get 15 minute breaks. If they are late, they are written up and after so many write-ups, they are "let go". Even company executives have to go to this location to smoke.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:26:06 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:33:32 AM EST
[Milton] I could just burn the building down [Milton]

Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:34:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
you are correct. it's about money. and control over over people's lives.



He doesn't have control over anyone's life. If any of those smokers are actually good at what they do, they will have no trouble whatsoever finding another job with a company that doesn't care if they smoke.

A private organization cannot be socialist. It's a dictatorship, every time. I own the company, and (if the .gov would get out of my ass) I make the rules. Don't like it? Work for someone else.

How is it that every time someone cries "fee speach" when they are censored here, the mods/staff all say "this isn't a democracy, it's a privately owned website", yet you think that a privately owned company should be any different? If I own my own company I should be allowed to hire or fire you for whatever reason I want. If you don't like it you go work somewhere else. The hell with all this "the insurance companies are ruining the world" bullshit. That's such a red herring. The issue at hand here is that employees have the freedom to work for whoever they chose, and employers should have the freedom to hire/fire whoever they choose.

Oh wait, I forgot, we need to save the working class form the evil Bourgeoisie. What a crock of shit.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:51:25 AM EST
Wow, this is great. Now, as an employer I can fire any of the gays at work. That segment of society has a higher risk of AIDS and pushes up my health insurance premiums.

Wow, this is great. Now, as an employer I can fire any of the obese at work. That segment of society has a higher risk of heart disease and pushes up my health insurance premiums.

and so on and so on.........
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:57:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By CSUSB_Coyote:
Wow, this is great. Now, as an employer I can fire any of the gays at work. That segment of society has a higher risk of AIDS and pushes up my health insurance premiums.

Wow, this is great. Now, as an employer I can fire any of the obese at work. That segment of society has a higher risk of heart disease and pushes up my health insurance premiums.

and so on and so on.........



As well you should be allowed to.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:58:40 AM EST

Originally Posted By CSUSB_Coyote:
Wow, this is great. Now, as an employer I can fire any of the gays at work. That segment of society has a higher risk of AIDS and pushes up my health insurance premiums.

Wow, this is great. Now, as an employer I can fire any of the obese at work. That segment of society has a higher risk of heart disease and pushes up my health insurance premiums.

and so on and so on.........



If it's YOUR company, you most certainly can, provided you are in a "right to work" state. AZ is one of those states.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 7:00:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
That will fall in a legal challenge before the court. The state supreme court at least will find that unconstitutional.

CJ



You may be right, they may find a relationship to the ADA laws. Not that big a stretch from obesity discrimination and that's a borderline call.

This is happening because of a sequence of events. Once we "socialized" medicine to a certain extent by requiring employers to offer "health insurance" employers simply saw this as another "expense" that should be controlled as well as something like "safety". Anyone in business practices risk avoidance in many ways. If we had left the choice of health insurance strictly up to the employee to buy the health insurance he thought best served his needs, we would not be having this problem. It would just be another item on the budget, ...SUV or Honda Odyssey, rent or buy, eat out or eat in, private school or public, health club or bicycle, savings or credit card bill.

The pendulum of entitlements will, if given the chance, smother free choice and the motivation of individual achievement.

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