How Much Say Should Your Employer Have Over You?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Annie, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/003657.php

     
  2. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    Seems that some companies are unable to distinguish the status of an employee from that of a slave.

    I hope someone sues their stupid socks off. Even though I don't smoke, if I worked for these jerks I'd buy a carton of cigarettes, light them and leave them lying about all over the building.
     
  3. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    Won't work. No constitutional right to smoke. What the article doesn't mention is that Weyco gave a fifteen month notice and footed the bill for anyone who wanted to quit.

    This is about lowering the cost of health insurance by the group.

    The employer exercised his right to lower the cost of doing business (and IMO was pretty sane in the way he did it) and the four employees exercised thier right not to work there since they didn't like the conditions.

    *edited to add the below*

    Saturday, January 8, 2005



    Firing Smokers Is Wrong Way to Curb Health Costs

    Using tobacco becomes a firing offense at one Okemos company

    The Detroit News

    An Okemos company that has snuffed out smokers' jobs to curb health care costs has taken a radical step toward trying to reduce one of businesses' biggest expenditures. Unfortunately, it has gone too far.

    Weyco Inc., a medical-benefits administration company, no longer will employ anyone who smokes -- including those who light up during their time off from work. Four employees resigned at the end of December because they refused to quit smoking.

    Last week, the remaining 200 employees all were tested for tobacco use and more could find their way to the unemployment line because they're addicted to nicotine. The company no longer will hire anyone who uses any form of tobacco.

    Howard Weyers, president of the company, said his decision goes beyond the bottom line. He refused to disclose how much money he'd save by dismissing tobacco users from the ranks, but said taking such drastic action was needed because increasing health care costs were choking his business. That may be true, but discriminating against a class of people for engaging in something that's legal is wrong. There are ways to cut costs that don't infringe on people's personal lives. The company easily could have made smokers' health care costs too expensive to continue the habit. Weyers said he didn't think that was a viable solution.

    Weyco's employees knew the change was coming. Michigan does not have strict smokers' rights laws so the company's mandate is legal. The company will continue to employ one smoker in Illinois, which has laws prohibiting employers from discriminating against smokers.

    In 2003, Weyco employees were told they'd have to stop smoking and using other tobacco products or they'd lose their jobs. Smoking was banned completely from the company's property and new hires were tested for tobacco use.

    The company also began a testing program. Employees who tested negative for tobacco use didn't have to pay a monthly fee of $50. Those who tested positive had to pay the $50 if they didn't agree to go to smoking cessation classes.

    Weyers said the breath tests that are used don't register second-hand smoke so those who have friends or relatives who light up won't be forced out. Anyone who tests positive will have to take additional tests to prove they don't smoke.

    All this is too much. Will the company next target overweight workers? Obesity is at least as big a health threat as smoking and also adds health care costs that the company and others have to absorb. Will the overweight be forced out? Weyers says no, but the slope on which he's standing is slippery.

    Weyco has a lifestyle coach and other incentives for living a healthy lifestyle. That's a preferable manner in which to deal with bad habits. Trying to control people's lives outside of the office is not.

    source
     
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    So they can also forbid fast food? Driving too fast? Where does it stop?
     
  5. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    until Jesus is the only employee ??
     
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  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    This kind of control strikes me as too much. Forbidding smoking at work, out the door, in their parking lot...ok. What you do at home? No.
     
  7. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    Civil lawsuits often have absolutely nothing to do with constitutional issues.

    This is about more than lowering costs. This is about the difference between being employed by a company as opposed to being owned by one.
     
  8. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    Yup. Sux don't it. Problem is that health costs are not going down anytime soon. Most health care insurance carried by employers is group policies based on group dynamics (according to my neighbor the ins sales guru :) )

    Unhealthy acts cost money and the average idiot doesn't want to foot the bill. If I am paying the tab, I want to have some control over the things that are raising my costs.

    Finally, this is nothing new. The military has been doing it forever.

    Oh, about the driving thing..... nah, but the local cops might have an issue with you and the new mustang you got :rotflmao:
     
  9. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    I still think they'd win a civil suit. There is no basis to demonstrate that they harmed any employee. I realize that not all juries are smart, but I don't think they would kill a company for this.

    Owned by the company is way back in the "company store" days. Then you had zero options. Now you can simply quit and find another job.
     
  10. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Well, we'll respectfully disagree. Don't think an employer should have this much control. If they do, what the government does won't matter.
     

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