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 Post subject: Smokers need not apply
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:20 am 
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A person I know was recently hired by a prestigious private university. When reading over their pre employment package they came to the section about tobacco use. While this person doesn't smoke they read it figuring it was concerning healthcare costs and that tobacco users would be have much hirer rates.

Instead it stated that they would be doing a tobacco screening along with the usual drug testing and that if you were to test positive for tobacco your employment offer would be rescinded.

I am not sure how I feel about that. On one hand I am about as anti smoking as a person can be and realize the only reason tobacco use is legal is due to the tax revenue it generates. On the other hand could an employer state they were only hiring vegans, or if your BMI was over a certain number you couldn't be hired. What about alcohol personally I drink about 2 gallons of bourbon a year along with about 150 beers. It sort of reminds me of Henry Ford requiring his employees meet his moral standards back in the day.

I once worked for a trucking company where you had to pass a test where you have to pick up a certain amount of weight, carry it across the room, set it down, pick up more weight and bring it back the other direction. I forget but, as I recall it was 4 reps. Also the weight was high enough that it all but eliminated most females. The test had nothing to do with driving and the company no longer has the test.

So bottom line is just how far can employers go in dictating how we live our private lives when it comes to hiring.

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"within weeks of being rid of the likes of you, rid of every fucking one of you,we would begin to see what kind of country this ought to be" Ike Bana 6/14/18


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:30 am 
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On average, smokers will typically pay 15-20% higher premiums than non-smokers with equivalent demographics and health conditions. If the monthly premium for a non-smoker is $500 per month, it will be upwards of $600 for a smoker.


Anybody have a problem with this?

Can people be charged higher premiums if they're morbidly obese? If they like a pinch of cyanide in their martini?

If somebody lies on their insurance application and it turns out they smoke like an 18 wheeler, are there any consequences?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:34 am 
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Anybody have a problem with this?

Can people be charged higher premiums if they're morbidly obese? If they like a pinch of cyanide in their martini?

If somebody lies on their insurance application and it turns out they smoke like an 18 wheeler, are there any consequences?


I have no problem with hirer premiums. In this case they will not hire tobacco users, period.

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"my choice is for people like you to be deported -Ike Bana 5/13/18

"within weeks of being rid of the likes of you, rid of every fucking one of you,we would begin to see what kind of country this ought to be" Ike Bana 6/14/18


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:38 am 
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Is this about insurance and health costs? Or the university against smoking in general?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:01 pm 
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That prestigious private university sounds like it may self-fund its healthcare plan. :(

If I were to come across an employer with an employment policy like that I would decide to continue to look for work because I would regard them as possibly playing fast and loose. And that tendency might extend beyond their no smokers in the healthcare plan. Like they might generate a reason to fire people who get sick, one would loose both their job and their insurance when they needed it the most.

Zombie insurance tied to zombie employment. Not a good risk.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Is this about insurance and health costs? Or the university against smoking in general?


Probably a little of both.

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"within weeks of being rid of the likes of you, rid of every fucking one of you,we would begin to see what kind of country this ought to be" Ike Bana 6/14/18


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:25 pm 
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The vegan comparison isn't a good one. Neither is the BMI one for obvious reasons. The problem with smoking, is that it tends to stink. Your clothes stink, breath stinks. Other people can have allergies or sensitivities to that. Typically a smoker will not be able to go the entire work day without smoking. They're going to smoke some place on site, maybe take more breaks if they can get away with it. Cigarette butts end up on the grounds. I've worked in a number of offices with smokers. While they didn't smoke in the building, they still stunk when they came inside. They also went out for smokes a fair a bit, although that sort of behavior is up to management. It could be they don't want smoking employees to be a part of their image.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:19 pm 
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Still sounds pretty intrusive. I hate smoking but I hate prying employers even more. This is a university, not Tiffany jewelers.

Disneyland takes your photo now when you pay your $100 to get in (more in summer). They claim the photos persist on the server for 24 hours (the life of the ticket), then vanish. I took too many computer classes to think data ever vanishes.

"And by these million cuts, our privacy dies."

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:43 pm 
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Smoking should be encouraged. With a burgeoning human population in a world already sated with humanity, this could aid in reducing the long-term fertility of humanity. Also, smoking is virtuous: it kills regardless of gender, race, religion, or your mom's maiden name.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:03 pm 
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The vegan comparison isn't a good one. Neither is the BMI one for obvious reasons. The problem with smoking, is that it tends to stink. Your clothes stink, breath stinks. Other people can have allergies or sensitivities to that. Typically a smoker will not be able to go the entire work day without smoking. They're going to smoke some place on site, maybe take more breaks if they can get away with it. Cigarette butts end up on the grounds. I've worked in a number of offices with smokers. While they didn't smoke in the building, they still stunk when they came inside. They also went out for smokes a fair a bit, although that sort of behavior is up to management. It could be they don't want smoking employees to be a part of their image.



OK the vegan is a stretch but, why is BMI not a good comparison. If this is done for insurance purposes it seems that being obese is just as bad a being a smoker.

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"my choice is for people like you to be deported -Ike Bana 5/13/18

"within weeks of being rid of the likes of you, rid of every fucking one of you,we would begin to see what kind of country this ought to be" Ike Bana 6/14/18


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:12 pm 
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I don't think smoking is equivalent to having weight issues. I'm of the opinion that when we get into body shape, size etc. were getting into a different form of discrimination. I understand people have the choice to adopt better eating habits etc, sure, but I think it's a lot harder for some over others to keep weight off or lose weight due to genetics, or health issues, etc.

That said, I don't have a problem if people want to smoke if they do it outside in a designated area and keep their litter confined to trays.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:17 pm 
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There are employers who offer benefits for health related activities.....My spouse receives gifts for taking a series of medical tests....and discounts are health clubs.

I'm also mixed on this....by undertaking bad habits that increase everyones cost, we all pay a price....But like some others here, I'm bothered by intrusiveness. But I guess its which intrusiveness bothers us more. Our privacy is constantly invaded. For example by purchasing publically available information, they could find out an awful lot about us if someone wanted. Marketers (and political groups) do that all the time.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:22 pm 
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There are employers who offer benefits for health related activities.....My spouse receives gifts for taking a series of medical tests....and discounts are health clubs.

I'm also mixed on this....by undertaking bad habits that increase everyones cost, we all pay a price....But like some others here, I'm bothered by intrusiveness. But I guess its which intrusiveness bothers us more. Our privacy is constantly invaded. For example by purchasing publically available information, they could find out an awful lot about us if someone wanted. Marketers (and political groups) do that all the time.



To me this seems like one of those deals where if people are ok with, then what comes next. To believe that employers will stop at smoking would be naïve. Again look back at what Henry Ford put his workers through in order to work at Ford.

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"my choice is for people like you to be deported -Ike Bana 5/13/18

"within weeks of being rid of the likes of you, rid of every fucking one of you,we would begin to see what kind of country this ought to be" Ike Bana 6/14/18


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:37 pm 
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My personal position is employer based drug testing is wrong, IF the employer says you won't be hired, because you failed a drug test that might just indicate you used illegal drugs 3 years ago.

From my point of view, that is not his business. In fact, it's not even his business if you're doing them outside the workplace and it doesn't affect your work performance. But that's ridiculous. To hold you responsible for things you did long before seeking employment.

Unfortunately, the 4th amendment does not affect private employers, and unfortunately, this is an at-will employment country where your employer apparently can ask you to do just about anything in order to be hired (apparently many insist you must "friend" them on Facebook so EVERYTHING you've put on your Facebook page is visible to them), and can fire you for any reason they feel like.

I don't think it should be this way, either, but it is.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:59 pm 
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A union would fight against such a thing. Companies believe they OWN the workers, and have to be reminded that they don't. I'm sorry, but smoking IS legal, and an employer should not be able to dictate to people how to live their lives off the job.

A company has the right to dictate certain things, within reason, while you are on the clock and on their property. But I don't believe a company has the right to dictate your use of legal substances.

Of course, I'm sure glen disagrees with me. Except, of course, where it pertains to him.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:31 pm 
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A union would fight against such a thing. Companies believe they OWN the workers, and have to be reminded that they don't. I'm sorry, but smoking IS legal, and an employer should not be able to dictate to people how to live their lives off the job.

A company has the right to dictate certain things, within reason, while you are on the clock and on their property. But I don't believe a company has the right to dictate your use of legal substances.

Of course, I'm sure glen disagrees with me. Except, of course, where it pertains to him.



Climb down off the cross and remember the place you work will not hire republicans.

As for the smoking issue the main reason I am opposed to it is because I see it as step one. It reminds me of when I was about the only person I know bitching about DUI roadblocks. Which began as "insurance checkpoints".

Once a personal freedom has been taken away, or in these cases surrendered voluntarily we rarely if ever get it back. So we are in agreement that with a few exceptions companies should not be allowed to dictate your personal use of legal substances.

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"my choice is for people like you to be deported -Ike Bana 5/13/18

"within weeks of being rid of the likes of you, rid of every fucking one of you,we would begin to see what kind of country this ought to be" Ike Bana 6/14/18


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:35 pm 
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My personal position is employer based drug testing is wrong, IF the employer says you won't be hired, because you failed a drug test that might just indicate you used illegal drugs 3 years ago.

From my point of view, that is not his business. In fact, it's not even his business if you're doing them outside the workplace and it doesn't affect your work performance. But that's ridiculous. To hold you responsible for things you did long before seeking employment.

Unfortunately, the 4th amendment does not affect private employers, and unfortunately, this is an at-will employment country where your employer apparently can ask you to do just about anything in order to be hired (apparently many insist you must "friend" them on Facebook so EVERYTHING you've put on your Facebook page is visible to them), and can fire you for any reason they feel like.

I don't think it should be this way, either, but it is.


The place I have my equipment leased did both urine and hair samples as part of their pre-employment test. As for the FB deal one of my son-in-laws one of the reasons was hired at his previous job was because he has never participated in any social media.

I guess we truly live in a new world. One where we don't feel the water boiling.

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"my choice is for people like you to be deported -Ike Bana 5/13/18

"within weeks of being rid of the likes of you, rid of every fucking one of you,we would begin to see what kind of country this ought to be" Ike Bana 6/14/18


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:42 pm 
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Climb down off the cross and remember the place you work will not hire republicans.

As for the smoking issue the main reason I am opposed to it is because I see it as step one. It reminds me of when I was about the only person I know bitching about DUI roadblocks. Which began as "insurance checkpoints".

Once a personal freedom has been taken away, or in these cases surrendered voluntarily we rarely if ever get it back. So we are in agreement that with a few exceptions companies should not be allowed to dictate your personal use of legal substances.

...and the Catholic Church doesn't hire Muslims. What's your point?

We fight for the rights of workers. I'm pretty damned proud of that.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:50 pm 
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...and the Catholic Church doesn't hire Muslims. What's your point?

We fight for the rights of workers. I'm pretty damned proud of that.



I agree that your Union is your religion. You fight for the rights of liberal workers. As for the rest they are welcome to join, pay their dues, they just aren't allowed to have a voice. Which is sad but, has very little to do with this thread.

As for the smokers rule, I am guessing it all started when companies were allowed to charge smokers hirer premiums than non-smokers. The last place I worked told us they were going to start charging more for high BMI's but never did. I am guessing it is because almost all truckers have high BMI's. Charging more for that would have caused an exodus of truckers out the door.

Back to smoking, I have to wonder what will be step two-three-four. I am betting that places that don't want to hire gays or blacks or non-Christians will figure out ways to exempt those groups, "legally".

This is bad policy and should not be legal.

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"my choice is for people like you to be deported -Ike Bana 5/13/18

"within weeks of being rid of the likes of you, rid of every fucking one of you,we would begin to see what kind of country this ought to be" Ike Bana 6/14/18


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:50 pm 
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...and the Catholic Church doesn't hire Muslims. What's your point?

We fight for the rights of workers. I'm pretty damned proud of that.



I agree that your Union is your religion. You fight for the rights of liberal workers. As for the rest they are welcome to join, pay their dues, they just aren't allowed to have a voice. Which is sad but, has very little to do with this thread.

As for the smokers rule, I am guessing it all started when companies were allowed to charge smokers hirer premiums than non-smokers. The last place I worked told us they were going to start charging more for high BMI's but never did. I am guessing it is because almost all truckers have high BMI's. Charging more for that would have caused an exodus of truckers out the door.

Back to smoking, I have to wonder what will be step two-three-four. I am betting that places that don't want to hire gays or blacks or non-Christians will figure out ways to exempt those groups, "legally".

This is bad policy and should not be legal.

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"my choice is for people like you to be deported -Ike Bana 5/13/18

"within weeks of being rid of the likes of you, rid of every fucking one of you,we would begin to see what kind of country this ought to be" Ike Bana 6/14/18


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:55 pm 
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I agree that your Union is your religion. You fight for the rights of liberal workers. As for the rest they are welcome to join, pay their dues, they just aren't allowed to have a voice. Which is sad but, has very little to do with this thread.

You don't know what being part of a strong union is like. You have a voice AND a vote. You have the ability to stand together for a better day.

And you want to talk about "religion", check yourself for your football fix.
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As for the smokers rule, I am guessing it all started when companies were allowed to charge smokers hirer premiums than non-smokers. The last place I worked told us they were going to start charging more for high BMI's but never did. I am guessing it is because almost all truckers have high BMI's. Charging more for that would have caused an exodus of truckers out the door.

Back to smoking, I have to wonder what will be step two-three-four. I am betting that places that don't want to hire gays or blacks or non-Christians will figure out ways to exempt those groups, "legally".

This is bad policy and should not be legal.

Who's going to make it illegal? Republicans? Hell no. They think that companies can do whatever they want to do to workers.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:05 pm 
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You don't know what being part of a strong union is like. You have a voice AND a vote. You have the ability to stand together for a better day.

And you want to talk about "religion", check yourself for your football fix.

Who's going to make it illegal? Republicans? Hell no. They think that companies can do whatever they want to do to workers.


The university I am talking about would be considered a moderate school politically. Still left leaning just not as far left as places like Berkeley. So it is not like it is Bob Jones U or some religious school.

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"my choice is for people like you to be deported -Ike Bana 5/13/18

"within weeks of being rid of the likes of you, rid of every fucking one of you,we would begin to see what kind of country this ought to be" Ike Bana 6/14/18


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:31 pm 
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riding a motorcycle too, playing sports, engaging in outdoor activities, hunting, handling firearms, whitewater rafting, snow skiing, they all cause injury and health costs, and time off from work.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:02 pm 
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I worked for a company for 5 years that performed random drug tests and also did not hire smokers. Nobody tested for cigarette smoke but since we were a "drug free workplace" for insurance purposes we tested for drugs. If you tested positive then you were required to get treatment and were retested thereafter. If you tested positive again, you were terminated. It was posted all around the plant and it was in the handbook and was explained to each employee prior to their hire. Drug tests and background checks were performed on every new hire. I don't recall anyone complaining although I am sure some folks who were fired for failing drug tests complained.

IMO, we had folks who operated machinery that could kill them or another member of their crew in a split second. You could loose an appendage in the blink of an eye. Part of my job was dealing with workers compensation and I saw all the reports and the amount of therapy and cost associated with all types of injuries. Nobody wants to see any employee get hurt. Safety in those environments protect life and limbs but also saves time and money for the company. It's a win / win. Anything that detracts from that including drugs is going to get attention. The smoking policy arose from health insurance costs, too many smoke breaks on the factory floor and complaints of the smell and butts all over the place from fellow workers.

The business can make a business case and a health/safety case for discriminating against these activities.

Edited to add: The company did not allow you to smoke on the premises. We did not test for cigarette use but you were asked on the application and on the health insurance questionnaire. Nobody got terminated for being a closet cigarette user unless you were caught smoking on the premises and then only after several warnings.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:22 pm 
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A person I know was recently hired by a prestigious private university. When reading over their pre employment package they came to the section about tobacco use. While this person doesn't smoke they read it figuring it was concerning healthcare costs and that tobacco users would be have much hirer rates.

Instead it stated that they would be doing a tobacco screening along with the usual drug testing and that if you were to test positive for tobacco your employment offer would be rescinded.

I am not sure how I feel about that. On one hand I am about as anti smoking as a person can be and realize the only reason tobacco use is legal is due to the tax revenue it generates. On the other hand could an employer state they were only hiring vegans, or if your BMI was over a certain number you couldn't be hired. What about alcohol personally I drink about 2 gallons of bourbon a year along with about 150 beers. It sort of reminds me of Henry Ford requiring his employees meet his moral standards back in the day.

I once worked for a trucking company where you had to pass a test where you have to pick up a certain amount of weight, carry it across the room, set it down, pick up more weight and bring it back the other direction. I forget but, as I recall it was 4 reps. Also the weight was high enough that it all but eliminated most females. The test had nothing to do with driving and the company no longer has the test.

So bottom line is just how far can employers go in dictating how we live our private lives when it comes to hiring.

Your friend was apply to a private university so he should have researched the values the university espoused and he probably have found the answer to your question.

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