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No SmokingIf you’re in love with unhealthy foods or other unhealthy things such as smoking you may just find yourself out of a job. A sweeping trend is creeping up on America through employers and insurance companies. The cat is out of the bag, if you’re a smoker you have a target on your head for being unhealthy and are at risk of losing your job or paying steep monthly fines and penalties.

The first notice of this trend started specifically with smokers. Everyone can probably remember all the questions on insurance forms about your personal habits. Not too long ago answers to these questions logically increased insurance rates for individuals. Now that health care costs are sky rocketing for companies as well as the individual extreme measures are being taken by employers across the country. The things that you do outside of your 9 to 5 are now your company’s business and they’re doing all kinds of things to find out what exactly it is you do that’s unhealthy or unwise. This scrutinizing is a direct result of employers trying to reduce their health care costs.Blood Pressure Cuff

Privacy advocates are up in arms and people are starting to speak out against this new industry trend. It’s not only current employees that are feeling the sting but potential employees, applicants for any job are being turned down because they smoke, they’re obese or have other health ailments. The list of check off items to deem an employee or potential employee as a bad apple are things like smoking, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, body mass and bad cholesterol levels.

Typically most people turn a blind eye to the harsh regulations, taxes and penalties passed on to smokers since most agree it’s an unhealthy choice. However, the check list is growing for what is deemed unhealthy and more and more people are being flagged as potential hazards in regards to health insurance coverage and workplace health. Jeremy Gruber, legal director for National Workrights Institute in Princeton, New Jersey states, “we’re only seeing the beginning of this. Employers started with smokers. Now they’re moving on to the general population.” If you like donuts or have a guilty pleasure for a McDonald’s double cheeseburger you will most likely find yourself in the future battling high scrutiny by your employer and health insurance company.

Companies are not just doing pre-employment screening for illegal drugs now but all kinds of bad habits and health ailments. A growing list of companies are very open about their strict standards. The Cleveland Clinic has openly admitted that starting September 1st, 2007 if pre-employment screening finds nicotine in a potential employees system they will immediately be denied employment. A company called Clarian Health has sent notifications to it’s large pool of employees letting them know that starting in 2009 employees will be charged $5 per paycheck if they are found using tobacco. The charges don’t end there. Clarian has also stated that if tests show the employee has abnormal levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and a growing list of other tests they will be charged $5 on each paycheck for each occurrence of those criteria.Health Care Squeezing Costs

It’s only a small percentage of employers throughout the U.S. that are taking these questionable measures to force their employees to do what they deem healthy. The trend is growing and many are becoming alarmed at the spread of penalties that are being announced through employee newsletters and pay period information slips. Some employers start out small by offering incentives for their employees to be more healthy. After the employees get used to that they decide to up the ante and try charging fees and firing. One such company drew a barrage of news coverage when it fired 4 employees who smoked cigarettes. It was decided that Weyco Incorporated in Lansing, Michigan had the right to fire the employees. Weyco decided to increase the pressure recently by expanding the rules of employees under their health plan. Now not only can employees incur $50 per paycheck fees but they can also incur these fees if their spouse smokes too.

As frustrating as it is for some employees, most lawyers admit that it’s a tough battle to go against these rules and regulations. People that follow the health care insurance industry and watch company trends admit that the desire to cut health care costs is increasing quickly as companies are absorbing as much as double digit increases in health care expenses and premiums. “The more that health care costs rise, the more you will see more defined penalties in the workplace for unhealthy activities.” states John Lender of the Winterbark Health Association.Donuts

Privacy advocates are taking note of the startling trend and are asking questions. Where does the scrutinizing end? Can you be fined for eating fast food, donuts and visiting the local tavern? If the actions of companies show anything the clear answer is that may come sooner than you think. It’s not hard to forget actions of past notable employers.’

It wasn’t long ago when the well known Henry Ford enacted his own health and life choice screenings throughout his entire company. In fact, Ford went as far as sending in investigators into employees homes to ask them questions about diet, drinking, gambling and other questionable habits and preferences. If employees answered the wrong way they were added to a blacklist and let go from the Ford Company within months of their admissions. It didn’t take long for negative publicity to grip Ford for his actions and he later shut down the investigative operation.

History usually repeats itself but this time the trend seems to be coming back with a vengeance. The leading factor is now the quick rise in health care costs and employers are tired of footing the bill.

If you’re a smoker and you’ve felt the negative push in your workplace we’d like to hear from you. Whether you’ve been fired, fined or chastised we want to know. The trend is going beyond just smoking and is touching everything from obesity to blood test results. If you’re feeling the push and want to talk about it tell us your story.

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85 Comments to “Employees fired and fined for smoking, obesity and blood test results”

  1. on 28 Sep 2007 at 2:14 pmSalomon Johns

    Heh, make people think twice about smoking haha.

  2. on 28 Sep 2007 at 2:45 pmbubba gump

    What if you are skjinny eh

  3. on 28 Sep 2007 at 2:51 pmricky

    ma pensa te…questi sono fuori…se voglio essere pacchione ne ho tutto il diritto

  4. on 28 Sep 2007 at 2:51 pmChaos

    This is just stupid. I will never let my employer force a particular lifestyle on me. If i want to have a 2 egg bacon and cheese sandwich, then I will. I smoke ciggarettes during work hours, and will continute to do so. I didn’t lie on my health coverage form, i said i smoked ciggarettes. Eating fast food and other unhealthy foods is not a practical criteria to decide who gets a job. Corporate America will never be a society of perfect people. Most of these people work 60-90 hours a week on average. After that much time, if you want to go out and get drunk as can be, eat some greasy food, and not exercise for four days in a row, thats your right! If my employer fired me on the grounds that i smoke ciggarettes, i would be bring that shit to court. Screw this whole mentality that some employers think will set in, because it wont. You will lose a lot of good, hard working people, and will be left with a bunch of pussy’s that dont have a life. Hence no time to be unhealthy

  5. on 28 Sep 2007 at 3:20 pmAnthony

    I don’t think a “guilty pleasure for a McDonald’s double cheeseburger” will make you fail a BMI test - however living off the stuff for 2 years probably will. All these thigns are ok in moderation, but they ant to weed out excessively unhealthy people. The point of this stuff is it is meant to be encouraging health and lower costs - obese workers are also less productive, and take more time off as well as costing mroe in healthcare

  6. on 28 Sep 2007 at 4:34 pmgosh

    hippocrites; they want healthy employees but do not provide any preventive care plans, they want you to work when you are sick which gets other employees sick, and if you are sick with the cold or flu they want you to expend more insurance money by going to the doctor for a note when just a few days of rest would have done the job. They dont want to give you time off for doctors appointments which makes employees wait till health problems turn into emergencies. Heck they dont even want to give people flex time to take care of their families. But what the do want is nice robots that dont break down. Its sad that as humans, we are becoming less than human.

  7. on 28 Sep 2007 at 4:49 pmKristine

    If my employer was to dictate how I live outside of my working hours, I would expect them to pay me a hell of a lot more money.
    Work should be about the employee giving their time and skills in exchange for money from the employer.. it should not be about the employer owning the employee as some kind of slave.

  8. on 28 Sep 2007 at 4:50 pmDennis from Canada

    Good.

    I don’t want to continue subsidizing those who choose wrong life styles by me having to do what amounts to work they can’t. Nor do I want my taxes to pay for the poor choices others make about their bodies.

    Think of this:

    Smoking is better for society than eating wrong.

    A smoker works for 30 years contributing, paying taxes, etc. Then dies quickly using few medical resources.

    Fat people semi-work for 20 years then chew up medical resources for another 20 while not contributing taxes.

    Something helpful is that someday fast food outlets may provide healthier food while the only place the fatties can get there fix is by exercising (walking) around a grocery store to get the junk to put in their faces.

    It is sad my taxes pay for fatties to get transferred to the veterinarian to be x-rayed in a machine designed for horses. And then there is the sad cases where a lift team of four to six muscular guys are required to lift the fat of a fatty so that medical staff can clean the fatty’s private areas.

    Call them what they are; obese people have a mental illness. They are fatties. I know, I was one.

  9. on 28 Sep 2007 at 6:14 pmJM

    Well when it is a proven statistic that smokers and overweight people get sick more, and therefore miss more work, why is it the employers problem that they are not wanting to deal with that.
    If you have made a choice to become addicted to nicotine (no matter what anyone says, at some point they CHOSE to WORK at starting smoking, it doesnt just happen) or chose to get fat (no one held them down and made them each Big Macs for lunch every day) then it is your own issue to fix both of those issues. An employer COULD offer a waiver of benefits to these people so that it doesn’t come back on them as an expense.

    The problem is when more and more things start excluding you from employment, when dows this cross the line to discrimination on the basis of a medical condition. There needs to be a definative line between “self Inflicted” and conditions that are not self inflicted. We need to be careful though, this is a path that can lead to genetic screening for cancer or other things or that nature that might exempt you form employment.

  10. on 28 Sep 2007 at 6:51 pmBobosan

    A few examples of what companies are actually doing this would have been nice. It’s easy to say ’some bad bad company is doing x’, but unless you actually name them…kind of lacks the weight of the entire argument.

  11. on 28 Sep 2007 at 6:57 pmDC

    I agree with JM. This is a chosen path and you can choose to change it as well. Which is where it differs from serious medical reasons like cancer. You choose the lifestyle you have and believe it or not you are not free in America so suck it up. And for the one who said if you aren’t smoking or eating unhealthy you don’t have a life… Can you think about that statement first because I don’t think you did. You won’t have near the lifetime of someone who doesn’t smoke or eat unhealthy. That’s ridiculous to think that you would. Im pretty healthy so I don’t have a problem with these new regulations but why choose to contribute to our society’s continued unhealthiness and laziness? Make a difference.

  12. on 28 Sep 2007 at 7:05 pmMegan

    I think this is perfectly fine. I plan to own a business someday, and unless my employees are paying 100% of their health insurance costs, I will NOT hire anyone with these unhealthy habits. It’s ridiculous that an employer should have to make up for the extra cost because their employees choose to live unhealthy lifestyles. I think it’s great that employers are starting to step up and take action because this just may end up being the solution to America’s obesity crisis. If you smoke or live any other sort of unhealthy lifestyle, make a change or face the consequences - that’s what I say.

  13. on 28 Sep 2007 at 7:17 pmbus

    wow.. your all sheep.. anyone who wants to let the health care plan of your freaking employer dictate what you get to do outside the office had to have voted for bush… both times!!

  14. on 28 Sep 2007 at 7:32 pmDon

    Megan you inbred derelict, so are you going to study your propsective employees medical records, family history, and analyze their genetics to verify that they will AT NO TIME have a chance of cancer/mental illness/any other random disease/health issue?

    You assume that simply because someone is thin and doesn’t wreak of cigarettes that they’re healthy?

    What a moronic post.

    “Healthy” (per this article, thin and non-smokers) have thousands upon thousands of possible afflictions themselves. Most smokers (as much as I hate smoking) begin having health issues directly related to the smoking YEARS AFTER THEY’VE RETIRED.

  15. on 28 Sep 2007 at 7:40 pmJohn

    Fire all the unhealthy people then watch your taxes go up to subsidize the healthcare of those same people. Wouldn’t you rather have them work and at least pay SOME of their own healthcare costs?

    Oh and Megan, I have owned a few small businesses, I hope you have the joy of owning your own business someday. You will discover that the most regulated relationship in the world is that between employer and employee in the United States. You can’t always choose the criteria by which you hire and fire people. Consider this, would you also be discriminative of people who engage in sports because their injuries impact your healthcare costs? How about those with a family history of diabetes or heart disease, even if they themselves are disease free?

    In time, if you get big enough you’ll also learn that labor unions will be happy to represent your employees concerning what they do in their own time.

    Good luck.

  16. on 28 Sep 2007 at 7:54 pmNovathecat

    Well I’m fat and I rarely take a sick day (it’s been 2-3 years since my last one) and am just as productive as everyone else if my last evaluation means anything. Don’t assume all fat people are lazy and sick, it’s just NOT TRUE!

  17. on 28 Sep 2007 at 7:56 pmTimmy

    Listen, this argument is simple..
    Liberty, its mostly thrown around for the effect of bring back nastolgia. Its what our country was founded on: Life, Liberty & the pursuit of Happiness. These arguments for firing those whom smoke, over enduldge in food puts those truths we once held evident(undeinable) at odds with one another.. I don’t want the governtment or any business to regulate what I do on my free time as long as it dosn’t hurt or impeade someone eles rights. If you want the government/companies to offer such survaliance move to Russia, France, Denmark, Holland they are all pretty high on the socalist/communism spectrum. But, don’t limit my liberty because you think you are more important than me.
    Quite frankley, if companies & people could buy health care over state lines(currently no one in america can)( ie, a differnt policy offered eles where with the same protection offered for less just a differnt geological position) Then we can invite the free market, capitalism to fix our worries on health care.. BECAUSE, companies will drop prices to rise in the market to make the all mighty dollar! It introduces compatition!

    Now, Megan here believes one should be able to discriminate ‘cos Darkey rapes women when hes drunk & does cocain… That statement may be way over the top I mean after all she just wants to discriminate based on what makes people happy & how they choose to persue those truths that are self evident, Life, Liberty;Happiness.

    Look, “It’s ridiculous that an employer should have to make up for the extra cost because their employees choose to live unhealthy lifestyles”… Choose to live…
    I dunno, I for one don’t want to hire mentally challanged people, I mean they don’t do much.. I mean they can’t, they have limited mental facilities, face huge medical burden, they need care & why should I have to pay for them. Well, its because companies get a Tax break.
    I personally don’t care, i mean if they can do the the medial or high level job I assign to them then thats it position filled..
    If a smoker or fat person has a great intelligence, works effiecently, hell they can provide inovation make my company millions tottaly subsidising the little extra i might encure(if it ever even happens) providing health care.

    |et me wrap this up.. IF you want to encure lower costs in health care don’t limit our abilites to buy eles where, most of all don’t limit my LIBERTY & PURSUIT OF HAPPINES!

  18. on 28 Sep 2007 at 7:58 pmNigel

    Hey as a business owner I think its a great idea.

    Not because I want to do it to my employees.. but because it will help flood the market with potential new hires that are otherwise qualified for work! I’ll be happy to hire all the overweight (and smoking!) sysadmins, programmers and software engineers they wanna throw my way.

    I’d actually be more inclined to fire someone who complained about smoking than a smoker … after all, people on nanny patrol aren’t at their desks working! Plus who really wants whiners working in their company? I sure don’t.

  19. on 28 Sep 2007 at 8:00 pmBillyB

    This makes me sick. I smoke, usually around 2-3 cigarettes a day. If anyone thinks this is going to significantly impair my health, you are dead wrong. I am also about 20 overweight. I’m not a “fatty”, as one user so eloquently put, but I could be considered “unhealthy” by a prospective employer. Does this little bit of extra weight impair my health or ability to do my job? No, no it doesn’t. I’m repulsed by the comments that people have left on here. Sure, it’s fine to discriminate against people that smoke or are overweight, but how would the country react if companies had this policy regarding homosexuals? As far as the government is concerned, that too is a choice. If a company came out and said it was not going to hire homosexuals, people would be up in arms protesting that company until they either lost a significant amount of sales or had enough of the bad press and decided to change their policy, not to mention that likelihood of government intervention. People need to stop looking at issues like this as “Oh, he’s a smoker. I don’t like smokers so good, or he’s fat. Go work out you big fatty.” This just makes me sick.

  20. on 28 Sep 2007 at 8:01 pmThat Guy

    To Megan - I do agree with you. I think people should live healthy and get exercise. The only concern that I have is Where is the line drawn? There is an example in the article about a company that is charging it’s employees if someone in their home smokes. Would you as a reasonable person expect someone to change the habits (no matter how bad) of another person. Now thinking on those same lines - are you going to give that person the ability (time off mainly) so that they can even attempt to change the habits of another person. What I and a lot of other people are worried about is where is the line drawn? If I play basketball a few times a week and sprain my ankle or get another injury about 3-5 times a year, are you going to require me to stop playing basketball because I have to miss work? Since this is a form of exercise and keeps me in good health would you require me to stop? Where is the line drawn on what is an unhealthy activity? Some people consider the use of Cellphones to be unhealthy. Where will companies and insurance companies end up drawing the line? Will they even stop adding things? Are you going to monitor what foods they eat? What if they lie to you? How will this be monitored? How will this be regulated? There are too many questions and too many scenarios in my opinion for this to be feasible.

  21. on 28 Sep 2007 at 8:09 pmTimmy

    When it comes right down to it.. I don’t want to limmit your ability not to be able to only hire non-smokers, non-mentally handicapped, non-disabled.. But, if you want to take it to that.. Don’t tell me as a business owner that I can’t have a smoking enviornment in my work place that may inhabit everywhere in all work areas! I don’t want to have to cater non-smokers, sicne they don’t want to have to cater to my needs!

  22. on 28 Sep 2007 at 8:18 pmURFINGSTUPID

    I think this i perfectly stupid. So I guess, no one gets the choice or freedom to choose how they want to live their life. Its Unites States of America, home of the free..not United States of America, home of where your bosses decides what, when and where you sleep, eat and do. Where does this stop. The next step is to check if women have boyfriends and husbands, if they do they have a chance to get pregnant and will be out a few weeks, and along with the medical costs, maybe corporate america should stop hiring women. Also corporate america should check what their sex preferences are, and employees have to report in when they have and with whom and where, you know sex transmitted diseases are a big thing, the companies need to track down who you had sex and see if who they had sex with and take blood tests to make sure they are healthy. Some of you might say I’ve taken this story out of context but I dont see why a company should care how i live my life. And this will NOT stop America’s obesity problem, America’s obesity problem is caused by corporate America and its school system. Kids are no longer to allowed to go outside for recess and gym classes as those are no longer in the scheduled and corporate america is forcing it workers to work longer and longer hours and are not expected to be at work everyday and are not suppose to have life outside of work, so where do they find time to exercise.
    A question I had is this only enforced on the employees and where the higher ups are allowed to smoke cigars and deal in crack cocaine and other unhealthy activites???!?!?!?

  23. on 28 Sep 2007 at 8:18 pmJeff

    I can’t seriously belive the comments I’ve read here. Most of the comments I read so far are *for* this crap! I don’t care *how* much a company pays, they should *never* force a lifestyle on anyone, however healthy it may/may not be. I don’t smoke and don’t drink, I don’t do drugs of any sort, but I am obese, as are many, many other Americans. The “healthy” people seem to be all for this, but what if you have a genetic predisposition to being overweight? It’s not *all* lifestyle choices, and, any way a sane person would look at it, it’s discrimination of the worst sort. I personally hate it when people smoke, but I’ll be certain to tell you that they work just as hard as the rest of us who don’t and to fire them or discriminate them is to discriminate against a very sizable portion of our population, like it or not. I’m all for giving people a choice and helping them living a better lifestyle, but geez, firing them is not going to make the world a better place. To the previous poster who said ‘If you smoke or live any other sort of unhealthy lifestyle, make a change or face the consequences - that’s what I say,’ I can bet you that most Americans have some “sort of unhealthy lifestyle,” and I can almost bet you’re a thin person who’s “made all the right decisions,” because someone who isn’t obese, unless they’re nuts, would say such a thing. Same goes for the person who is “is sad my taxes pay for fatties.” Just how judgemental, stuck-up, predjudiced, and *narrow-minded* can a person be as to call a person “Fatty”? This whole thing seems to be a wich-hunt *against* people’s personal choices, however unhealthy other people deem it and irrespective of what the end-result is desired to be. This so much remeinds me of the fictional universe portrayed in the movie “Gatttaca,” because if you push this logic to its end, that’s what you’re going to get, and I certainly hope it is not as widespread as this article suggests. The *real* epidemic in America is judgmental, hateful, holier-than-thou attitudes that seem to be pushed by way too many people in the world, especially those in power, irrespective of the money-saving, “do-gooder” masks they put over their delusions and blantant, hateful attitudes towards people who live differently from them.

  24. on 28 Sep 2007 at 8:21 pmMike

    I guarantee that the ones who have complained about this are either fat or smoke or do both.

    Simple options:

    1. Change life stile…it will add 10+ of years to your life span wether your fat or smoke or do both.

    2. Loose some god dam weight. Stop being a fat ass. Get an exsecise routine. Go outside, your going to die sooner than most people, so at least get to know your city and state parks.
    I love junk food and fast food… but i eat them sparingly and i have an exercise routine.

    3. If you don’t want to give up smoking. DONT SMOKE ON THE JOB or take smoke breaks. You need to cut back anyway. Smoke at home and week ends.

    4. If your fat and you dont want to do anything about it, get ready to be laid off or become so fat that your disabled…but if this is your case. You might as well dig a hole and die.

    And Finaly. Regardless of your habits everybody should demand universal healthcare from the government and bring down the health care insurance industry.

    I do agree, that its none of the employers business what you do outside of work hours.

  25. on 28 Sep 2007 at 8:24 pmLittleSheep

    Air pollution is contributing to asthma, global warming, and cancer; car accidents injure thousands of people in the US per year. I won’t hire anyone who drives a car.

    Sleep deprivation contributes to serious illness, poor judgement, emotional problems, and mortality rates. I will fire anyone getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night.

    Big Brother anyone?

  26. on 28 Sep 2007 at 8:55 pmJohn Doe

    Your right, smoking and being obese are choices.

    So is having a child. Employers should be able to fire people who make the decision to have children because the health risks are relatively high and they’re choosing to miss work to have the child. Also, they should be able to strictly enforce a company mandated diet that all must adhere to, they should get to choose which over the counter medications you can use, and monitor your dangerous driving behavior. Of course we need to include random alcohol tests (drinking is just as bad as smoking) also. Maybe a sleeping monitor to make sure you choose to get enough sleep every night to perform your job correctly.

    In fact, employers should be able to place you under 24 hour surveillance to make sure your living a completely healthy and hazard free life.

    Right?

  27. on 28 Sep 2007 at 9:04 pmAdam

    They didn’t name any actual employers, I wouldn’t get concerned.

  28. on 28 Sep 2007 at 9:20 pmTaylor from Canada

    Well this is really only applying hard to the United States due to the fact their Health care companies are run by bloodsucking demons, which causes the company to lose money to these fat asses. I can only really see this hitting Canada if we get bad enough, and at most it will just be life insurance costs.

  29. on 28 Sep 2007 at 9:49 pmMichael

    Megan said:
    > I think it’s great that employers are starting to step up and take action
    > because this just may end up being the solution to America’s obesity crisis.

    That’s great. The land of the free degenerates yet further into the land of “someone hold my hand and make me do what I can’t do for myself”.

    This scheme is an obscenity. Today, it’s smokers and the obese — both marginalized groups, if the comments above are any indication. But these things have a way of escalating. As they say of the Holocaust,

    “First they came for the gypsies and i said nothing.
    Then they came for the homosexuals and i said nothing
    Then they came for the jews and i said nothing.
    Then there was no one left when they came for me.”

    How is it that the country that two hundred years ago showed the world what freedom meant is now so quick to run the other way?

  30. on 28 Sep 2007 at 10:08 pmJim

    If we all take time to think about the logistics with this subject, in someway shape or form, you are helping people kick habits that they would normally have a hard time kicking. So, before we trash certain thoughts, we should just let it settle into our minds and think about the last person you know that has died of cancer from smoking, or a heart attack suffered from obesity!!!!

  31. on 28 Sep 2007 at 10:44 pmSteven

    This is some of the most disgusting stuff I have ever heard of in my life. Where does it end? Will companies and the Bush administration not be happy until we are in a total Surveillence Society?

  32. on 28 Sep 2007 at 11:40 pmlunytunz

    Something you are all missing. My employer (a large media company) has begun the smoking tax and has sent out letters to anyone who is labeled as obese on their computers. The problem became apparent when one of our employees received a letter because he is 6′2″ and almost 300 pounds. He must be very obese to weigh that much, except the BMI didn’t show that he is the healthiest person in the building and has 5 percent body fat. These extremist rules will never be fair to anyone. The most they should be able to do is evaluate each case or find a better way to work on this problem. Next they will start charging you more for poor health from excessive work hours. people who work 60 hours a week are more stressed, and tend to have poorer health due to extended sitting, less time for exercise, sleep, or proper eating.

  33. on 29 Sep 2007 at 12:03 amlunytunz

    Another point to consider, I am very healthy and ride a bicycle much of my free time and sometimes I ride to work to enjoy the freedom from traffic. Two years ago I was hit by a car that was drunk and suffered some pretty nasty injuries. I missed almost a week worth of work while in the hospital and ran up some massive medical bills. Does this qualify as an unhealthy choice to do something healthy. Another point would be do you speed in your car? Do you drive while tired? Do you talk on the cell phone while driving? All of these “healthy” people who aren’t bothered because they are perfectly secure in not being included will do a 180 when they realize they are next.

  34. on 29 Sep 2007 at 12:38 amDandi

    I think it’s ok…the company I work for has a work out room and they track your time. I have a card and every time I get on any machine, I have to insert my card and my company pays me for it. They offer cash incentives (and other things) for working out. It’s really awesome and we as employees are pumped about it. It keeps us healthy and earns us money!

  35. on 29 Sep 2007 at 2:07 amYella

    The thing is, when will they stop? If you’re gay, ethnic, young, have a black sheep family member, had an abortion, dont belive in a god (and if a god which one)? Doesnt everyone realize this is the doorway to a scenario such as 1984 or Equilibrium? Why hasnt anyone even protested the freedom of our country? We as Americans are failing.. and it worries me for the future.

    Corporations should not have so much power, and neither should our health care systems. They dont need to be charging the corporations as much as they do, its all business in the end.

    Incentives for being healthy are one thing, being punished regardless of your good work ethic isnt.

  36. on 29 Sep 2007 at 3:00 amRick

    My company told us that when we were hired 2 years ago that it had a program in place to restrict smoking. If you are a smoker, the company will not provide break areas that allow smoking. They also stated you have a year to quite…

    Smokers also pay more for their health insurance because smokers are more likely to use insurance, more claims, more money the company pays, and less productive our agents are.

    I personally don’t smoke, but I sit with people who smoke out at the dinner across the street. My parents smoke, my entire family smokes, I am the blacksheep who doesn’t. Better off for it I guess.

  37. on 29 Sep 2007 at 3:05 amscott

    High cholesterol is a fine-able offense at that company? But don’t doctors tell you that heredity plays a big part in it? Same with body weight… there’s a ‘fat gene’ as well. So you start fining these people that have a genetic predisposition that may be all but impossible for some of them to overcome? Worse yet, don’t let them get a job… and instead they draw welfare, medicaid, etc. Much better :) Anybody ever see the movie Gattica?

  38. on 29 Sep 2007 at 4:04 amVBDon

    There will always be a few employers who think they “own” their employees. Because they aren’t intelligent enough to get that slavery was outlawed 150 years ago, they are also not intelligent enough to run a successful business. It’s better to avoid these jerks and find a job with a company that will be successful. That will, at least, offer some long-term job security. Let the failures have their moment of power. In the end, you’ll get to interview them for low-end jobs under you.

  39. on 29 Sep 2007 at 4:22 amlunytunz

    Dandi,

    I only wish that my company would do that. But I work for a news organization where smoking and obesity is the norm and if you want to be healthy do it on your own time. That is until they send out the new health plans and they act as if it is news to them that these things are required like the smoking tax. Though I am healthy I agree with many of the people here that the health requirements will leave out some really great managers (most of our best managers are overweight but better at their job than any others) many of the healthy people at work are type A personalities., they think everyone works less than them even if they take weeks off at a time. If my health insurance included a workout center I would love it. the local gym is several thousand dollars a year for the decent one with the pool.

  40. on 29 Sep 2007 at 4:57 aminalienable rights

    The only thing that counts at work is: doing the work.

    If fatty, skinny, and smokey all produce the same amount of work, they should have the same “group health insurance” rates–because they are the same work group.

    Generally, fatty, skinny, and smokey DO produce the same amount of work. That should be blatantly obvious to anyone. A worker who is not performing for any reason will be replaced–except in government employment!

    Studies which purport to show that smokers do less work are bogus and always are begun with bias. Non-smokers take breaks too.

    But, employers should have the legal right to discriminate. Any way they want to. An employer should be free to refuse employment based on skin color, fat, smoking, or anything else.

    The more severe problem in this country is in tying health insurance to employment.

    By the way, the US was founded by chain smokers who lived long lives and the original economy of the country was largely based on tobacco.

  41. on 29 Sep 2007 at 8:31 ampat

    good, cigs are one of the most addictive substances available for the general population. as an alcoholic, it seems to be a very corporate response to a lack of personlal responsibillity

  42. on 29 Sep 2007 at 6:31 pmMarc

    People have to be responsible for their own actions. Smokers should whine around people who actually care about promoting their destructive self inflictions. Good for the employers!

  43. on 29 Sep 2007 at 8:23 pmkb

    this is outrageous…corporate america fining ppl for cholesterol and smoking?
    Have they gone ******* nuts??? And why are the courts finding in favor of the
    companies doing this? I understand about the whole healthcare scene wanting
    employees living healthy lives so that the less healthy ones will feel under the gun,
    but give me a stinkin’ break…
    signed,
    Don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t do drugs and not fat, but still pissed off about it anyways.

  44. on 29 Sep 2007 at 10:27 pmthewitch

    I love this - employers have the right to discriminate? Oh yes… we’re talking about the US here… which is pretty much becoming a third world nation now.

    People should be employed on the basis of whether they can do the job they’re hired for - if they can’t, then the employer can do something about it or not hire them in the first place - but to enshrine discrimination… what a pathetic excuse for a nation!

    Maybe if corporate america was less greedy and trying to rip everyone off, then there might be affordable health care and people would be able to stay more productive and healthy for longer. Bodies wear out and suffer temporary failures - and that seems to be something that a lot of people forget. We’re not robots and… thankfully outside of the US, there’s more responsible employers and unions prepared to fight against this insanity.

    Oh - and I suffered ill health from working for a US company - it’s cost me three years of my life and the ill health and medication caused me to put on weight - about 30% extra. Was that my ‘choice’? My opinion of the US work and social system is that it should be quarantined and kept away from the rest of the world - we don’t want to go down in the flames with you all.

    PS - I have a private business and when I’m ready to hire people, my only requirement is that they’re good at their job. I don’t care what people do outside work - as long as they’re working for me during the hours I’m paying them.

  45. on 30 Sep 2007 at 2:02 amGeorgeMason

    The thing is that one of those prestegious Ivy League schools determined the greatest risk to ones health, is the workplace. Even greater in the blue color environment. Oops! Blue color is not politically correct. What do they call it now……workforce?

  46. on 30 Sep 2007 at 4:51 amFXR

    Smoking bans stand as absolute proof of the ineptitudes of Government agencies laying claim to any control whatsoever in the field of national security.

    We witness how easily one nepotistic and corrupt UN agency has the power to co-opt the entire scientific medical community voice and dictate the opinions of the popular media throughout the free world.

    The power as demonstrated by news releases daily and the political leaders on the same day, over and over for months on end, act as ventriloquist dummies voicing the common verse. Which demonstrates “if you tell a lie long enough it becomes the truth.”

    Preceding every smoking ban implemented throughout the free world were seen similar parroting of common verse, irrespective of knowledgeable sources which adamantly refuted the scientific credibility of what was being supported.

    Any doubt as to the existence of a small common source of the verbiage, we have all been incited with, is found in the news papers across the nations of the world with common language declaring “cigarette smoke” alone of all the chemicals and Toxins we know stands alone, with no safe level of exposures possible.

    Corruption rules, and undermines elected authority and proof is found in the common successes which will be eventually absolute as every politician, Clinician or Journalist who stands in the way of UN policy domination, will be attacked by his peers who find common profits from these campaigns. The fat pandemic, The bird flu pandemic, Global warming and a host of other initiatives all call for our moral opinions to support language driven by fear, in the process of turning us upon ourselves.

    The absence of discussion seen in the installation of these grand plans to protect us from ourselves should be their indictment.

    The sum result is seen in the poll watching design of centrist politics, promoting what ever it takes to find popular support in the competitors camp, regardless of political history or party obligations.

    The improprieties are explained in converting right and left leaning parties, into in what they term as “forward going” or “progressive” in the common description of a political cult known not as right or left but the third way[Reich]

    The same paternalisms gave Hitler his power to “protect” us against the Jews and other so deemed inferior races who still suffer the results of those Bigotries and prejudices today.

    A government dedicated to protecting it’s citizens is the opposite of a government dedicated to protection of it’s citizen’s personal rights.

    We will have to decide soon which is more important or the existence of choice will be gone for ever.

    We have nothing after all to fear but fear itself.

    Get involved!!!

  47. on 30 Sep 2007 at 8:45 amthewitch

    I have to be amused by the preceding comment - Which demonstrates “if you tell a lie long enough it becomes the truth.”

    I’d suggest that you review some video footage of autopsies of people who’ve been life-long smokers or people who were obese and listen to the commentary of the pathologist. In both cases, vital organs will have been damaged beyond repair - and even if they died from something else, if they’d survived that, they’d have eventually died from their organs failing. I just can’t see how what the pathologist finds is a lie?

    In true definition of the ‘free world’, I support your right to smoke and binge on fast/junk food - but I totally object to your insistence on inflicting it on the rest of us. That’s why the smoking bans in the rest of the first world are so welcome - we don’t want to die from the same forms of lung disease are you’re likely to.

    Thinking about it - I’d be inclined to not have a company health scheme - and just suggest that my employees find their own health cover. I save on costs - and they can find the same cover and choose whether to have their vices/addictions or pay to have the cover…

    That’s the mark of the free world - the choice of the individual. I would make exceptions for those who’s problems are caused by a medical condition… like mine was - but for those who think it’s ‘cool’ to smoke and pig-out on junk food - that’s their choice and they accept the consequences of their choice.

    If you don’t want to accept responsibility for YOUR choices… go live in a totalitarian state… sorry… forgot……….

  48. on 30 Sep 2007 at 8:22 pmFXR

    My how things change, when we inject a little fortuitous fear into the dialog.

    We already live in the totalitarian state obviously, when suddenly we have found inspiration by the intolerance of others.

    The root of our evil?

    The Parties to this Convention,

    Determined to give priority to their “right to protect public health”,

    http://www.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA56/ea56r1.pdf

    What people fail to realize is the agreement signed at the World Health Organization [WHO]
    was in fact an agreement to succumb to the realities it contained in the tenets listed, regardless of their validity in the real world; in natural science, time line observations or in basic common sense.

    Much of the ridiculous statements made by Tobacco Control [TC] as a group, are empowered by the agreement alone. To accept those statements it contained as fact, by all signatory governments.

    The so called research which sounds so ridiculous yet finds credibility in the media on a daily basis, is “created in the new light” of what was agreed to be “real” even if it never was or could ever be, from a credibility position.

    The opening line which established a right to take control of our rights of autonomy directly was a crime under the pacts of Helsinki and Nuremberg, the contract was ratified anyway. All parties knowing full well it would never stand a chance in hell of sustaining a legal challenge. Much less being able to defend actions targeting individuals with a specific intent of undermining the domain of personal autonomy, by coercive and abusive means, described in detail and contained in a United Nations agency, World Health Organization’s public documents.

    Unless of course in the agreement the nations of the world agreed, the tenet of autonomy was nullified by the new agreement.

    This is the question to be asked of elected officials; Do you agree personal rights are more urgent and substantial than the State’s right to protect the “common good”

    Then you will see what they really believe, but only if you can succeed in dragging an answer from either them or from the courts.

  49. on 30 Sep 2007 at 8:55 pmFXR

    My slant on the promotions of hatred [below] which were never more efficient or intelligent than the message of moderation, which by linear perspectives, allays the fears of non-smokers and defeats absolutely the claims of the tyrants in TC and public health scare associations.

    At the British Medical Journal
    http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/14/suppl_2/ii3?ijkey=51532084409cd1fe36c22cbb2fb51ee231739f0c

    http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/14/suppl_2/ii3#499

    In Barricades magazine
    http://www.barricades.ca/current/I_smocker.htm

  50. on 01 Oct 2007 at 4:13 amDaric

    Good, it’s about time. This nation is in a sorry physical state. I think these companies should be applauded. The article seems impartial to me. It’s nice to see actual reporting :-D.

  51. on 01 Oct 2007 at 2:21 pmJen

    What you don’t know is that organizations that fine folks for high BMI, cholesterol, BP etc must offer folks a program to reduce those risk factors before they can fine them. They can only fine them if they don’t participate in the program. Furthermore, these fines cannot exceed 20% of the health care benefit. So folks can only be required to pay additional $1K of an average individual heath benefit which is about $5K year. Considering the health costs of smoking and or obesity is much greater than $1K, I think it’s only fair that people pay more who have modifiable behaviors. Again, people will be offered free programs to help them make these changes.

    These program are here to stay and are in fact growing. It’s sad that Americans can’t be smart and do what’s right for themselves. So we must be incented or fined to do the right things.

  52. on 04 Oct 2007 at 5:53 amRalph

    Jen, should we also allow businesses to test our genetics? See if we are bad right down to the DNA and be fired for something our parents passed on to us? Look, if you are going to be a shill for business, please ID yourself as someone who is trying to make people even more repressed in the workplace. They already sift through our piss as if we’re cattle. Where does it end?

  53. on 08 Oct 2007 at 4:40 amrobyn

    Lets see ,if I smoke 20 cigarettes and drive my car I will NOT KILL ANYONE ,however if I drink 20 beers there is a 99%chance the I WILL KILL SOMEONE. Think about it people have you ever heard of someone getting into a fight or killing someone because they smoked?Tell The truth how many people do you know that has gotton into a fight or killed someone because they were drunk?How about this when someone drinks it impaires there judgment ,they show up to work with a hangover they can not functipn or they keep wrecking the equipment or stagering over the place and they can not think straight.Guess what smoking does not cause you to not be able to perform your job!!!! nor does it cause you to not know where you are.or what your doing.So the companies want to fire the smokers and keep the drunks,oh I am sorry they don’t smoke but they drink!!!! I just hope they will ask the question What is healther our cigarette smoke or the manure,dead chicken smell,the carbon dixoide and other polutions they are putting into the air From their factories and other meat processing plants,also what about all the nuclear adn toxic waste??? Come on people lets not be stuipid or you might get suid from some one for polluting the air.not to mention discrimation.
    My step dad was a smoker, his lungs are bad not from smoking but from breathing all the PAINT FUMES from working at his job for 40 years that was straight from his doctor.

  54. on 14 Oct 2007 at 4:16 amMrsCynic

    Thanks FXR for the most intelligent, well-reasoned, non-visceral response on the board so far.

  55. on 23 Oct 2007 at 9:31 amErica

    It’s not fair to fire or fine obesity employee.The company should have some positive policies to help them to change the current status, not penalty. obesity people can also have a happy and positive lifestyle just like they stay on those friendly social network sites for them specially, largeplace.com.

  56. on 03 Nov 2007 at 1:27 pmJennifer

    A tough corner to be in. I know my rising insurance premiums each year are because of rising costs of healthcare. I try to make healthy choices: exercising, eating better, don’t smoke or take drugs, vitamins, etc. But most people I know DON’T do these things. Just mentioning exercise makes them roll their eyes while they eat their donuts and take their multi-medications. But I have to admit there’s a negative push toward this lifestyle from the “powers that be”. Drug companies pushing drugs at every commercial break, FDA approving aspartame but banning stevia, gov’t subsidizing the sugar industry, the poor quality of food… not to mention inflation in general and companies wanting more from their employees for less, the stress is great on families, and people reach for an easy fix, too worn down to exercise or cook real meals or research the truth for themselves. We should all be responsible for our own actions, but in the insurance industry, we’re basically responsible for everyone ELSE’S actions too. I agree with pushing for healthier lifestyles, but there has to be real incentive and support there, not fear of punishment. Fear is never a good driver.

  57. on 05 Nov 2007 at 9:50 amTane

    Welcome to the 21st century slavery policy. Although it was changed in 1864, emancipation did not change the mentality. Various jobs have different criteria and that is what one should look at. It will do you good to realize that businesses abhor pay raises because they tend to cut into their gigantic profits. When they raise their prices that affect the cost of living, they began with trade offs. Instead of giving just raises to meet the demands of costs in living, they created incentives to attract employees by giving added benefits. The logic being that it was cheaper to get medical insurance for employees rather than give a pay raises. Unemployment insurance digs into their 30% -1000% profits and taxes are conveyed to the consumers who buy their products and services. When you compare the earning power vs. cost of living from 60 years ago and equate it to today, the minimum wage today should be about $30.00 an hour. Companies today take into account of the benefits they expend to their employees and adjust the pay scale accordingly whereby they can still make their 300% - 1,000% profit. Companies pay you for your time/work period. They do not dictate what you do after work hours; or they should be paying you for those hours outside of your actual work hours. They pay you for your time. By setting controlled conditions of your employment outside of that is a form of extortion and terroristic threatening if you do not comply to their whims. This form of discrimination is does not give one security in one’s job. So, do we hold the owners and bosses of a company to the same criteria?

  58. on 03 Dec 2007 at 10:39 pmLK

    This is an outrage. High Cholesterol can stem from many different things, not just from unhealthy eating habits. I am in perfect health and eat flawlessly clean not to mention I work in a health club and exercise 6 times a week but my cholesterol was unbelievably high. After some lab work it was determined that I was suffering from an underactive thyroid causing all of my organs to s l o w down metabolically. I was treated for my thyroid condition and my cholesterol levels returned to normal. Had I not found the root of my problem, I would have been labeled unhealthy and then charged for it! I am sick to my stomach of what has become of insurance companies let alone this country,,,,,C O N T R O L L I N G!

  59. on 17 Jan 2008 at 12:44 amMoney Talks

    Employers could simply implement a policy that employee’s directly incur the additional cost of “high risk” coverage or that they will not be offered health benefits at all. As these don’t appear to be options on the table, employers think themselves either more self-important than they really are or raising health costs is a simple excuse and “early” foray into the personal privacy of individuals (and it will only become more severe). The fact that a company can demand health test and use the results as grounds for dismissal (or the refusal of submitting to such tests) is a clear 5th ammendment issue and as unbelievable as it seems that courts are allowing for this to happen, it should not come as a suprise to anyone.

    On the other hand (and lighter side) I see a tremendous business opportunity here: I am in great physical shape, live healthy, eat a well-balanced organic diet and work out 4 times a week. I have annual health checkups and haven’t been sick (including flu-like symptons) in years. Additionally, since being this healthy also makes me a more attractive person, I subsequently raise the productivity and work attitude of all employees who come in contact with me. While my previous salary requirements have been $X, in light of the importance of health in the workplace and the strong committment of those companies to the health of its employees, as well as the time-investment on my part, and the additional cost of living, I will need to increase my salary requirements to $X.

    Clearly some companies think employees’ private affairs are their property, much like the leased time from 8 to 5, and entitles them to snoop. Okay - Want to know what’s in my urine - how much is that knowledge worth to you? Should be at least about half of the “high risk burden” that I would be if I were “high risk”. Or, you can opt out and just take my word that I dont’ smoke, don’t do drugs and don’t live off fast foods.

    Health insurance costs spinning out of control - have the government cap it - but NO, can’ t happen in this country because that would interfere with free market economy and we can’t interfere with the insurance and drug companies’ capitalistic endeavors. Fine, free market economy it is - pay for my urine and for my extra-healthy body not just for the education, qualifications and standard soft skills I bring to the job. I’d think that should raise my salary by about 25%? Think that’s unfair - I’d recommend they up their lobby spending and take on the insurance and drug companies.

    In the meanwhile I will be checking into Incorporating my body, as clearly businesses enjoy creater protection under corporate law than individuals do under the constitution.

  60. on 25 Jan 2008 at 7:02 pmlee

    I live in California. I am a non-smoker. Back in the day, second hand smoke didn’t bother me. But the law changed, and I really don’t have exposure to smokers. The thing I notice now about smokers now is that they STINK. I was wondering, about someone doing sales, going to meet a client, and they smell bad from their smoking.

  61. on 19 Feb 2008 at 3:16 amMike

    Companies are just trimming the fat, in more ways then one.

  62. on 25 Feb 2008 at 12:56 pmkeepintime

    While we’re at it, all really ugly people probably should be denied employment too. They’re seriously handicapped when searching for career opportunities in places like Hollywood, Hooters or most any dimly lit street corner anyway. And yes, society’s rigorous screening process catches most of them before they can do any real harm. But sometimes they DO manage to slip through, and movie directors, restaurateurs and pimp daddys should have a right to protect their ass-ets as well.

  63. on 26 Feb 2008 at 8:51 pmCece

    The real answer lies in the insurance industry. Group insurance used to be a benefit for employees. Now, the government is trying to mandate that everyone have insurance, but the insurance companies get to determine the rates. Employers are forced to foot the bill if they have to compete for employees, and the insurance companies reap the benefits. Don’t be fooled, insurance companies are in this for the money, not for the good of the people. There are employers out there who will drop your group coverage if you ride a motorcycle - whether for pleasure, or to save on gas and help the environment.

    Maybe health care insurance should be like car insurance. The more likely you are to have a claim, the higher your rates. No one screams about someone having high car insurance rates if they have numerous tickets.

  64. on 26 Feb 2008 at 9:38 pmMR FOAD

    First off, I am not overweight, I have never smoked, my cholesterol is below 100 and my blood sugar levels are great. The only time that I ever go to the doctor is for my annual physical.

    Now that I have established that I have no fear of ever being targeted by the health insurance companies…

    Whatever happened to our Constitutional rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness?
    The next logical step is to have the insurance companies overturn the law and have the employer discriminate against its employees based on their age because everyone knows that older employees start slowing down and are therefore less productive.

    This is how we are losing our Constitution rights people! A nick here and a nick there.
    I am glad that I am an older American because it is A Brave New World coming and I won’t have to live in a country with no rights.

  65. on 29 Feb 2008 at 3:37 amEhrgeiz

    Preposterous, absolutely preposterous. This statement is so asinine I don’t know why any one could possibly stand for it. I whole heartedly agree with the intellectual individuals here who so eloquently state that it is an outright violation of Constitutional rights. I have a very viable solution that could quite possibly solve this entire problem. Are you ready? Be sure because it’s complicated.

    STOP WASTING RESOURCES, TIME, MONEY, AND EFFORT BY SCRUTINIZING YOUR EMPLOYEE’S PERSONAL LIFE.

    I smoke and guess what “SURPRISE!!! I KNOW IT’S BAD FOR ME!” I’m sure that what you just read was astounding that a smoker knows it’s bad for them and admits it. I didn’t mean to startle you with that shocking statement, but I know this because I have more than two neurons that fire when I think so companies don’t really have to remind me how bad it is by firing an extraordinarily diligent professional all because I enjoy a cigarette a few times a day. This just in, if healthcare costs are rising wouldn’t the company pass these costs onto the employee? Yep, sure they would it happens all the time. Why do you think premiums go up and your paycheck gets hit ? Because people smoke? Nope. Because you are overweight? Nope. It’s because the health care companies know they can raise the rates and make more off of you. I am 6′ and used to weigh 310 lbs…ouch that is classified as a fatty and I sure as hell didn’t get fired because my numbers were outstanding because I worked more instead of go to the gym. Since then I have solved my problem of weight not by company mandate, but because I CHOSE TO. I now only weigh in at 180 lbs which is just fine for me and I don’t intend to really loose any more and I still smoke.

    If this is industry specific then a whole lot of IT firms (Information Technology), Data Centers, Web Hosts, and pretty much any computer related company is screwed. I have worked in good few Fortune 500, MSP 70, and SaaS 70 corporations and I was hard pressed to find someone who didn’t smoke and if they didn’t they were more than likely low tier techs that were just starting in the industry and not Systems Administrator or NetSec guys and the like. If they fire or hire based on your habits such as these a lot of us will just go someplace that doesn’t discriminate for smoking.

    If you say I cannot smoke while I am on the job…fine I’ll pay money and generate revenue for the corporation that makes nicotine patches and thusly stimulate an already lucrative tobacco industry and come to work wearing “Step 1″ of the patch and still do my job well.

    If you say that I can’t have a steak or cheeseburger for lunch. I hope you can cater some healthy foods for me to eat and I’ll get my rare steak, pint of Warsteiner, and smoke after work.

    What if they came to the decision that Soda was detrimental to your health and it would affect your employment status. I guarantee that a whole lot more of you would scream foul and yes even you diet soda drinkers since the sodium content is ridiculous and will harm your blood pressure. Wait what about coffee? The staple crop of any good company that keeps the corporate wheel turning. Guess what? That’s bad for you too and corporate America would collapse if we didn’t have our Maxwellhouse, Charbucks, or 7-11 coffee. You could expect me to use my coffee mugs and carafes as a weapon if you did that.

    What if you are in my situation and opted out of your companies health plan and obtained third party coverage? Would you still get fired? What if you suffered from a glandular problem and had to have medication to control your weight? Would there be any alternatives for you?

    Case and point as I have gone on with this diatribe quite long enough. Whether this will lead to an Orwellian work place or not is unsure because not every company will opt for this solution it will just depend on the demographic they have and the prospects that apply. If you are fat loose weight because you want to/ can’t see your feet, not because Acme said so. If you smoke quit because you want to/have emphazema and have to, but not because Triangle Shirt Company said you had to. Remember the Companies can’t use this as a modus operandi if you don’t let them so let them know if you so choose the 1st amendment still applies. Capitalism will sort this out too, because I would as stated by another gentleman hire every obese, smoking, and unhealthy person if their qualifications are good and that means my competition wouldn’t have them and thus we would innovate a product that puts Stalin Sprocket Corp. out of business.

    If you don’t agree with me you’re wrong. I am going to have a smoke.

    Big Brother is watching and I wouldn’t want to disappoint him by not being unhealthy.

    Ehrgeiz

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  67. on 07 Apr 2008 at 8:14 pmTimmreed

    My collegue and I found this topic to be very interesting and we are going to be writing an ethics case proposal study for a class based on this topic. We are curious to find out what people think an optimal resolution would be coming from a managerial standpoint?! Any imput would be a huge help!

  68. on 27 Apr 2008 at 10:12 pmWilma Janszen

    Thanks for the info

  69. on 06 Jul 2008 at 4:55 pmTom N

    I own a small business (2.5M/Yr.) - I don’t drink, but I smoke. I eat whatever I feel like eating on any given day. I am realistically about 25 pounds overweight. If any of my employees wishes to get drunk and hang upside down on a light post…or eat Big Macs ’till they come out their ears, I could care less. The work day begins at 8am. That means you have to get here 5 to 10 minutes before that. The jobs are mentally demanding and, at times stressful. Everyone here works hard. I know it. Who am I to say what they can or cannot do in their off-time…that is none of my business! I am not a guidance counselor or life therapist or any other type of guru. I am just an employer that offers money and benefits in return for 40 to 60 hours per week. BTW, there are only three of us that smoke here. Mine is the only office that is seperated and ventilated so that non-smokers don’t have to put up with it. (the other two go outside to smoke). By choice! There is no written rule on the subject here. 60% of my employees have been with the company from the beginning. I don’t micro manage at work, why on earth would I micro manage at home?
    I wouldn’t work for ANY company like that. This sounds like an HR department that has too much time on their hands!

  70. […] read more | digg story […]

  71. on 30 Oct 2008 at 12:57 amMiryan Iliev

    I’m not a smoker but I think it’s just rude to try to tell people how to live their life. If it’s not for smoking there are plenty of other things that contribute to bad health like fast food for instance. It’s really unbelievable how obesity is an epidemic in USA and major cause of heart related diseases. How are employers gonna test their employees if they eat fast food?…… or have random sex with strangers and catch STD’s?

  72. on 16 Dec 2008 at 1:33 pmEd

    Most of you are missing the point -

    Do not forget that health insurance from your employer is not a right but a benefit.

    If costs get too high and employees refuse to help the employer cut costs then the benefit will go away. You’ll have to get your own helath insurance or just pay out of pocket for all of your medical expenses.

    Ultimately it is your choice - but be careful of biting the hand that feeds you.

  73. on 12 Apr 2009 at 5:18 pmKM

    There are just as many health issues, deaths, and liabilities due to excessive drinking,… but because more ppl drink we don’t want to address that issue! We are Taxing the smoker for the damage he inflicts on himself and ignoring the drunk driver’s that kills thousands each year. Bottom line Excessive absenteeism and poor job performance is the issue and can dealth with quickly and fairly.

  74. […] read more | digg story […]

  75. on 15 Jun 2009 at 7:42 pmPISSED OFF

    megan and mike…you are a couple of fucking idiots! Do either of you realize that you are in the United States of America? If you don’t like what our troops have been fighting for over the past years, then why don’t you move your fucking hateful asses to another country and practice your hatered there!!!!

  76. on 25 Jun 2009 at 5:37 amUm

    Well i totally disagree that I should have trouble in getting a job because I smoke and eat fast food. I work well over 40 hours a week for my employer and have been with them for almost 2 years. In that time, I have missed 2 days to illness. I weigh 120 lbs, have been a smoker for 20 years, and hold a masters degree. I eat fast food for lh every day and have ate fast food for at least one meal a day my entire life. I have very low blood pressure and am very healthy. So where is the statistical data to show that I should find myself unemployable because I will cause health insurance premiums to increase?? I know of others in my company that don’t smoke and try to eat healthy and they are in worse health and have more health problems than me? So why should I have to be the one that can’t get a job or could lose my job due to my PERSONAL habits? Is this not the United States of America that stands for FREEDOM? That same freedom that I also served as a FEMALE VETERAN to defend!!

  77. on 22 Jul 2009 at 6:10 pmNanette

    For people that think obese people don’t work that hard, i would love to invite them to come see my work. The skinny people are the people that are always wineing about this or that, where as we the obese actually work.

  78. on 24 Sep 2009 at 8:39 pmSheridan

    #72 Ed brought up a good point “don’t bite the hand thats feeds you.” Employer sponsored health care is a benefit, not a right. The only thing is I do not agree with singling out only the obese and smokers. However most of us that understand freedom also understand that it means freedom for the employer to run the business as he/she sees fit. It also means employees are free to seek other jobs that do not target against smokers and obese people.

    Overall, I smoke and I would go along with a reasonable increase of about $5 or so per pay period because I smoke. However, I would not be pleased with paying some arbitrarily high amount, like say, $100 more per pay period. That is just plain ridicules when you consider how many other health habits or bad risks there are. I know a person years back who ounce in good health, not overweight, did not drink or smoke but he was involved in 2 major skiing accidents totaling more than $250,000 in medical costs, so far. From what I understand, the guy wants to try it again after he gets out of the hospital in 2 months. How about that for risk?

    I am sure that there are a few out there saying and thinking “just charge them smokers hundreds of times more. That’ll teach them ***hole smokers.” Some of the more intelligent people know that this is not the way to address the issue.

    Many companies have annual reviews with their employees regarding health coverage. In the last 3 years at my job this has been about increases in deductibles that employees pay out of their check. Not much I can do about that though.

    Instead of bringing on a draconian rule on singling out smokers and the obese with higher costs how about this:

    The employer states that there is now a somewhat higher deductible, for example, $40/pay period verses $25/pay period. The cost of what the employer pays shall be kept secret so that all employees believe that $40 is the norm. It is usually nobody else’s business anyway how much an employer pays. Those that the company deems healthy by the company’s standard shall be given a $15/per pay period discount, thus their checks will be $15 more. An employer at a restaurant where I worked once did something similar. He raised the price of the restaurant meals by 10 cents. He did this in order to get the extra income for his daughter’s out of state college. 10 cents added onto a $8.35 meal. Who notices any difference with this small of an amount. People think that $8.45 is the norm.

    With the method introduced above there is no discrimination. Healthy employees are simply getting an added free be for being healthy. For those complicated cases such as high cholesterol from some genetic problem that is not your fault, Oh well, you loose out on the added free discount. But, you are not being penalized.

  79. on 28 Sep 2009 at 2:09 amF@#$America!

    This is ridiculous, just one more freedom taken away. And if obama has his way and socalizes heathcare, then everything will have even more taxes “cuz its not good for you”

  80. on 19 Nov 2009 at 3:01 amsteve

    I agree with Pissed Off. Megan and Mike, do us all a favor and get the hell out of this country; you don’t deserve to live here.

  81. on 18 Dec 2009 at 1:27 amBill

    The next thing they will tell you that you can’t have a drink of alcohol or caffeine and that you have to be to bed by 9PM…
    UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

  82. on 18 Dec 2009 at 10:16 amJoe

    Remind me to file a law suit against any one driving a car or using an internal combustion engine and the manufacturers of these items as the emissions from them are poisoning me and hurting the environment!!!
    This is UNACCEPTABLE!!!

  83. […] health tactics, including weight-loss contests and quit-smoking support groups. A few have even refused employment to smokers and told existing employees to quit, or lose a job. The Peacock […]

  84. […] insight and flawless personnel wisdom is being incorporated into Corporate America doctrine now, as employers are firing and fining employees who smoke or are […]

  85. on 04 Nov 2014 at 11:56 amchuck

    2 points here no one is really talking about.

    1. All this descrimination by corporate America is being committed because the US govt, whose been infiltrated by anti-American enemies, is behind it all.

    2. Why should employers offer and pay even a penny for health insurance premiums when they can get “undocumented workers” to work for MUCH less and not ask for ANY benefits let alone health insurance? Again, you can thank the infiltrated US govt for this problem as well and they made this happen on purpose.

    It’s all in the master plan, folks. If you think this is bad, wait till you see what’s in store for us in the next 2-3 years. Start wearing diapers, because you’re gonna s**t your pants.

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