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Smokers & their wives threatened by

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Employer. Wow

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...A2VO.DTL&tsp=1

Employees and even their WIVES (non-employees) were given 15 months to quit smoking or lose their jobs. With MANDATED, random blood test to monitor compliance.

What is this country coming to?
post #2 of 26
Unless they're going to monitor their drinking too, this is outrageous and should be fought. Do they have random drug testing?

It is not illegal to smoke, nor is it illegal to drink past the legal age.

I understand the employer wants to try and cut the cost they are paying into the health coverage for these people, but this is dipping too far into the personal lives of the employee. The employees need protection from this kind of thing.
post #3 of 26
I do not smoke but think that is a stupid rule.
post #4 of 26
Are you implying that only husbands work, or that if the wife works, and their husband smokes, that is ok
post #5 of 26
Yes, this is an invasion of people’s personal lives and it is outrageous. I am totally against it morally. I agree it should be fought. However, I do think it’s a great idea. In the long run this guy could be saving peoples lives. I understand people’s addiction. I am not one of those health nuts you want to punch in the face because they tell people to quit smoking not knowing how ridiculously hard it is. I was a smoker for 15 years, I quit a year and a few months ago…. So I know, and I am still fighting cravings.

I feel so much better now, I now don’t have to worry if I have kids are they going to watch me die, whither away. I know if I do have kids I will be able to run, and play sports with them, instead of panting after climbing 10 stairs. I now don’t have to look at my Father’s sad face asking me to stop because he can’t stand to think I will die before him. If I knew what I know now I would have quit years ago. Unfortunately, a lot of damage was done over 15 years, if I got some sort of smoking ailment now I would hate myself for being so stupid.

If this weren’t an invasion of privacy I would be for this. I just hate to support anything that can lead to acceptance of the invasion of anyone’s personal lives. Once one thing like that is acceptable, its all downhill from there.

Sorry if I got on anyone’s nerves. I hated people like me when I was a smoker LOL used to get irritated and catty.
post #6 of 26
If they are going to do this to smokers they need to ban drinking too. Which by some standards have higher costs and negative effects.

http://www.marininstitute.org/alcoho...care_costs.htm

But that will never happen again.
post #7 of 26
Totally outrageous! I can see if the company refused to hire any new employees who smoke, but this really is over the top! Incentives to quit smoking and even refusing raises to smokers would be acceptable IMO, but to dismiss them because their wife smokes is really unfair!
post #8 of 26
My friend works in HR and they are not allowed to smoke either, with blood tests. They also won't hire people who are unattractive or fat. Companies can do whatever they want, it seems, because there's always someone else out there who will take the job. Sad.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
I thought discrimination was against the law in the workplace. Although we do all know it can be gotten around. And yes, it is sad.
post #10 of 26
Maybe it has something to do with health insurance? My husband and I are both self employed and gettnig health insurance was a pain. They want to know things like whether you drink or smoke and it has an effect on your premiums.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post
Maybe it has something to do with health insurance? My husband and I are both self employed and gettnig health insurance was a pain. They want to know things like whether you drink or smoke and it has an effect on your premiums.
then fair would be requiring the smokers & drinkers to pay the difference - not saying 'you &/or your spouse must quit smoking or you're fired'. if they did that, people might very well choose to quit on their own.
post #12 of 26
IMO, as long as it is legal, it shouldn't be a reason to discriminate in hiring practices. That said, a private employer can, theoretically, discriminate for any reason except the big ones (race, sex, age). Personally, I think that the company that Julie cited, where they won't hire anyone overweight or unattractive (and just who decides what is or isn't attractive?) is discriminatory too, but there's no law saying you can't. And there won't be for smokers either, because of the stigmas accompanying it.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
What is this country coming to?
To a sad end. Freedom is fast becoming a thing of the past and the sad thing is, we are letting this happen. Well not me, because I always vote against any of these stupid laws that ban or take away our rights. As always, this is a very bad and stupid rule.
post #14 of 26
I find that rather ridiculous. I don't smoke, nor does my husband. I used to, but that doesn't make me biased. Where I work, they've raised insurance premiums for smokers and dependents on their policy who smoke. They haven't completely "banned" smoking ... that just seems so insane.
post #15 of 26
At my mother's place of employment (a large resort) they banned employees from smoking on the property, including employee vehicles as long as they are parked on property. They are offering employees assistance in quitting, providing access to a counselor, and things like the patch for the next year. This makes a whole lot more sense than telling someone they have 15 months to quit smoking, including in their personal life AND those related to you, or their fired. That seems outrageous to me.
post #16 of 26
You all have great, valid points, and I agree that the government shouldn't necessarily try to dictate what you do in your personal life with your personal time.

BUT

And excuse me while I get on my soap box and PLEASE don't anyone take offense to what I say, this is just my humble opinion and despite what I say I don't judge individuals, this is just in general and from personal experience.

I think what this employer did is GREAT. Sure, the government shouldn't do it, but he is the owner of what I can only assume is a private business. CA is an at will employer (I know the article says "Weyers' method, while effective, wouldn't fly in California because the state has laws that prohibit employers from making hiring or firing decisions based on employee participation in a legal activity."), but all rules have silly exceptions. I think he SHOULD be allowed to do it.

Why? Smoking is a terrible, disgusting addiction. It takes over and ruins lives. Yes, alcoholism is bad, maybe worse. But, I have two points for that. One, how many times can you WORK while DRUNK and not get fired? Not many, at least at the jobs I've worked. And two, if you drink not at work and don't try to work drunk or hung over, you may be ruining your health, but you're NOT ruining your work effeciency or that of your coworkers. Or your coworkers health.

Where I work now, we have a lot of smokers. I wish my boss would fire them all. Each and every one of them leaves for a MINIMUM 10 minute break every hour or two to go smoke. WHY DON'T I GET OVER AN HOUR OF BREAKS AND MY HOUR LUNCH??? Because that's too many breaks. OH, but the smokers are ADDICTED, so it's ok for them. HELLO?? That's not right.

Also, when they do come back in, they REEK. STINK. HORRIBLY. They give me a headache and make me nauseous. Now, these are people I really like, in all other respects. But I am polite and considerate to them, why can't they return the favor? They are too selfish and self centered, and don't care if they make me suffer. I don't pile on perfume and reek them out of the office. But they sure stink me out. But can I complain? Can I leave the office because they make me sick? No, of course not, I have to suffer. Because they are selfish.

So, while I agree that what they do in their personal lives is their own thing. They want to kill themselves, fine. That does NOT mean a private employer and the company should have to suffer for it. If someone drinks at work or is drunk at work, they get fired. Same should go for smoking. If you are ineffecient and hurt the over all work place and company, you SHOULD be fired, no matter what the lousy excuse.

Now, getting off my soap box.

I don't understand why the employer would want to make the spouses quit smoking. He really should have no control over that, so that is too far. My guess would be that either it's because of insurance reasons (and if that's the case, yes, just increase premiums) or that a smoking spouse is too much of a tempation. The article says he tried incentives and such, maybe the incentives worked, but then the spouses ruined it. Who knows!
post #17 of 26
personally, i don't think the smokers should get those breaks. i don't get 'smoking' breaks, & i'm a smoker. people on long airplane trips don't get them, either.
i think the 'smoking' breaks at your workplace should be eliminated.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
personally, i don't think the smokers should get those breaks. i don't get 'smoking' breaks, & i'm a smoker. people on long airplane trips don't get them, either.
i think the 'smoking' breaks at your workplace should be eliminated.
Ah, now that would probably change my opinion a lot!

If you don't mind me asking, do you smoke just before work and / or at lunch? Because eliminating the excessive breaks would eliminate the first issue I have with the smokers in my office, but when they smoke before hand and at lunch, they still come in smelling really bad.

Honestly, if my coworkers could not abuse the system, and not come in smelling so bad they make me sick, then I would have nothing really to say, as it would be a strictly private choice and wouldn't effect me or the office.

Of course, if it's just ME that they make sick, then maybe I'm the ineffecient one! I always try to see both sides.

And, just because I feel like I can easily get too fired up and don't want to offend anyone, let me repeat again that this is really just my opinion and nothing against any individual!
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
personally, i don't think the smokers should get those breaks. i don't get 'smoking' breaks, & i'm a smoker. people on long airplane trips don't get them, either.
i think the 'smoking' breaks at your workplace should be eliminated.
Now this is something I agree with! As a non-smoker who always has to carry on working while others get to take a break it drives me nuts. And of course I've been reprimanded for taking a 5 minute break for "no reason".
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelongsToEvie View Post
If you don't mind me asking, do you smoke just before work and / or at lunch? Because eliminating the excessive breaks would eliminate the first issue I have with the smokers in my office, but when they smoke before hand and at lunch, they still come in smelling really bad.
i usually have 1 on the way to work [w/the car window open, btw], but my lunch break is only 30 minutes - not long enough to eat & leave so i can go smoke. so not at all during the day.
post #21 of 26
Employers are trying to find ways to reduce their health care costs. As long as we expect employers to fund our health care system, expect more and more invasive requirements into our personal life.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
personally, i don't think the smokers should get those breaks. i don't get 'smoking' breaks, & i'm a smoker. people on long airplane trips don't get them, either.
i think the 'smoking' breaks at your workplace should be eliminated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
Now this is something I agree with! As a non-smoker who always has to carry on working while others get to take a break it drives me nuts. And of course I've been reprimanded for taking a 5 minute break for "no reason".
I worked at one place where the smoker's got 10-15 minute breaks before and after lunch. Plus a 1/2 hour lunch break. And I got hassled about taking a couple minute restroom break! (I don't smoke)

It's probably not fair to tell them to quit or be fired. But life is rarely fair. Private companies can pretty much make up whatever rules they want (and that has been my experience). Some companies just aren't great to work for. Government jobs tend to have a few more protections.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
personally, i don't think the smokers should get those breaks. i don't get 'smoking' breaks, & i'm a smoker. people on long airplane trips don't get them, either.
i think the 'smoking' breaks at your workplace should be eliminated.

I whole-heartedly agree with that. I've always found it unfair that smokers could have a 10+ minute break every hour or so when they craved a cigarette. It just seems like "hey, bad addiction, but we get extra breaks and you don't!" was being rubbed around.

I have no problems with smokers, and I am a former smoker of 4 years. I think they should be allowed to do what they want in their personal lives. If a company allows smoking on the property (mine does, they have a special "smoking section"), then they should only have the same amout of break time as any other non-smoking employee. I also agree that if a company DOES NOT want employees smoking on their property, they should have the right to deny that as well. But not in personal lives outside of work.
post #24 of 26
Hmmm, now this thread has got me thinking about how many smoking breaks that my new employee needs...I already had to keep insisting that she wash her hands and air herself outside because, I, too, get headaches from exposure to smoke. I suppose I could consider those smoking breaks a form of "time theft" but if she doesn't get them, she gets all nervous and has trouble performing the job.
But firing her if she doesn't quit! That seems out of line for me....Maybe if I was paying her insurance premiums, I would pass the increase on to her, but I would not fire someone cuz they didn't quit....maybe not give them a pay raise until their output and work quality was deserving of it, but that would apply to non-smoker or smoker alike
post #25 of 26
"Weyers, owner of a health care benefits administrator in Lansing, Mich.,"

I understand where he is coming from refusing to have employees that smoke. However I don't agree with dictating what the spouses do....that's a bit ludicrous.

I work in health sciences, in drug discovery, and I am in the generation where it has been shoved down out throat that smoking is bad for you. Anyone exposed to a college or university education has been given all the resources to quit smoking and to educate them on why it's bad, yet people STILL do it.

My boss just hired a smoker and it infuriates me. He works in a hospital doing research for many diseases INCLUDING cancer. He is 22, there is NO REASON for him to smoke. I don't hide my feelings about it around him either, I think the fact that he obviously knows better and is in this research field, is as ludicrous as weyers forcing his employees spouses to not smoke.

I love it as much as I love seeing doctors and patients hooked up to all sorts of machines smoking outside the hospital.

I wish smoking was banned on the entire property, the amount of cigarette butts outside the hospital even in the no smoking area is disgusting and it's mostly employees. I would wholeheartedly accept the hosptial banning all employees from smoking. They don't respect the rules of where to smoke, and they don't respect other people in the hospital who don't want to smell it, which is why there is area's right outside the doors where you can't smoke. So if you can't smoke period that would solve the problem, if education won't stop them something or someone should. I understand it is a lot harder for the older generation that grew up smoking, but there are resources and the education available, ESPECIALLY for people in any type of health field.
post #26 of 26
I think it is wrong and they should be sued for discrimination. What next are they going to fire people who eat french fries since they make you fat?
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