Skip to comments.Geisinger will stop hiring smokers
Posted on 12/29/2011 4:54:10 PM PST by Born Conservative
Health care provider announces that tobacco users will not get jobs.
Smokers need not apply.
Thats the message Geisinger Health System is sending to future job applicants.
Starting Feb. 1, Geisinger will no longer hire applicants who use tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars and chewing or smokeless tobacco, the health system announced on Wednesday.
Geisinger is joining dozens of hospitals and medical organizations across the country that are encouraging healthier living, decreasing absenteeism and reducing health care costs by adopting strict policies that make smoking a reason to turn away job applicants, Richard Merkle, chief human resources officer, said in a press release.
Merkle said non-nicotine hiring policies are legal in 20 states, including Pennsylvania.
Current employees are not affected by the new policy. Geisinger isnt the first local employer to implement a no-nicotine hiring policy.
Anthony Matrisciano, a spokesman for Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, said the health insurance provider implemented such a policy at the beginning of this year. Blue Cross also prohibits employees from smoking within 200 feet of the building.
Wyoming Valley Health Care System and Community Medical Center in Scranton did not return calls inquiring about their smoking policies.
Amy Brayford, vice president of Human Resources for Geisinger, said saving money on health care costs related to smoking was not the impetus behind the hiring policy. The driver for it is improving the health of our employee population and creating a healthy environment for our patients and employees, Brayford said.
Geisinger will spend nearly $100 million on employee health care and prescription drug coverage for its nearly 15,000 employees in 2012. There were more than 2,800 new hires in 2011.
While Geisinger hopes to see health care savings in the long run, Brayford said implementing the policy will cost Geisinger money because a nicotine test will be added to the routine pre-employment drug screenings.
During the hiring process, all applicants including those seeking full- and part-time positions, flex, volunteers and students enrolled in Geisinger-based schools will be tested.
The urine test will include screening for cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, nicotine patches, nicotine gum and cigars. The test only detects active nicotine users, not those exposed to second-hand smoke.
Applicants who test positive for nicotine can re-apply in six months; a list of smoking cessation resources will be provided.
Brayford said there are no plans to randomly test new employees or any employees for nicotine or any other drugs.
You have to have a trust relationship with employees, that is very important to us, said Lynn Miller, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Geisinger Clinical Enterprise.
As a reward for healthier living and incentive for current employees who smoke to quit smoking, Geisinger will offer discounts on employee contributions to their health insurance plans for non-smokers beginning in 2013. Matrisciano said Blue Cross makes contributions to employees health care savings accounts when they achieve certain health milestones in the companys wellness program, such good cholesterol and blood pressure levels and not smoking. The accounts can be used to pay for things such as co-pays on doctor visits and prescription drugs.
Miller said the decision to implement the no-nicotine hiring policy was well thought out, as was the health systems decision to make all Geisinger campuses tobacco-free in 2007.
Marcy Marshall, Geisinger director of communications, public relations and marketing, said Geisinger has disciplined and even fired employees for smoking on campus.
The American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization all have similar hiring policies, and there are hospitals in Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas that do not hire smokers, Marshall said.
Julie Kissinger, spokeswoman for the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, said such policies are a growing trend, statewide and nationally.
I bet peter puffers are welcome.
But...but...second hand smoke KILLS, doesn't it? ; )
What about drinkers or Tylenol users. How bout people who drive full sized pickup trucks or hunt?
Slippery slippery slippery
Hey, look: "some pigs are more equal!"
From the article:
“Merkle said non-nicotine hiring policies are legal in 20 states, including Pennsylvania.”
Are non-alcohol hiring policies “legal”?
Smokers, the new jews.
A drunk HR lady for the company I worked for in the late 80s told me they secretly tested for nicotine at the pre-employment drug screen. If it came back positive and a competing candidate didnt they recommended hiring the competing candidate. This place had 1500 employees and theyd had several die very expensively from lung cancer.
Frankly, Im surprised this isnt standard procedure, given medical costs and the clear correlation between smoking and medical outlays. If you smoke in England, Ive read NHS wont allow you to receive organ transplants.
Our local hospital will kick a patient out if they leave the property to smoke.
Last time I was in the hospital some 15 odd years ago, I had a whole network of nurses who would take me to the cafeteria to smoke at all hours of the day or night.
Some of our brightest firmware writers are smokers. Some of our best hardware engineers chew snuff. Let the madness begin.
POTUS need not apply there. Doesn’t he use nicotine gum or some such?
Look at the pictures of Mission Control back in the days when we actually put men on the moon.
Buzz cuts, pocket protectors, cigarettes and coffee with scotch in the evenings.
Believe me I know. Smoking was allowed everywhere up until I left the service. Different times.
Nobody cares since smokers have already been successfully identified, stigmatized, demonized and now ostracized..........It's all part of the plan.
Time to ban alcohol!
Back in the 60’s, patients and visitors could smoke in the patients hospital room.
How about me? I’m a runner & have had several ortho injuries that have consumed some healthcare $$$
What bullcrap. The groups that one could discriminate against are unlimited. How about promiscuous homosexuals?? After all, THAT’S a high risk lifestyle.
They stopped that in the 70’s but my dad would call a cabby to bring him smokes. It was kinda clever I guess.
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