Skip to comments.Weyco fires 4 employees for refusing smoking test
Posted on 01/24/2005 12:38:46 PM PST by Dan from Michigan
Weyco fires 4 employees for refusing smoking test
1/24/2005, 2:50 p.m. ET
The Associated Press
LANSING, Mich. (AP) Four employees of Okemos-based health benefits administrator Weyco Inc. have been fired for refusing to take a test that would determine whether they smoke cigarettes.
The company instituted a policy on Jan. 1 that makes it a firing offense to smoke even if done after business hours or at home, the Lansing State Journal reported Monday.
Weyco founder Howard Weyers said previously that he instituted the tough anti-smoking rule to shield his company from high health care costs.
"I don't want to pay for the results of smoking," he said.
The anti-smoking rule led one employee to quit work before the policy went into place. Since Jan. 1, four more people were shown the door when they balked at the anti-smoking test.
"They were terminated at that point," said Chief Financial Officer Gary Climes.
Even so, Weyco said, the policy has been successful. Climes estimated that about 18 to 20 of the company's 200 employers were smokers when the policy was announced in 2003.
Of those, as many as 14 quit smoking before the policy went into place. Weyco offered them smoking cessation help, Climes said.
"That is absolutely a victory," Climes said.
If it's big government, then it's another story.
This will not last long. Those smokers will become rich. It's a legal product, used legally.
I agree with all your points.
This chap's asking for a lawsuit larger than he can afford. If MI's laws resemble MO's, this CEO has a MAJOR problem on his hands...or will shortly.
I guess he would know.
Still, I can't support firing people for something they do away from the job.
So should they be allowed to test for alcohol too? What if sex is shown to cause heart attacks can they command their employees to stop doing that too?
I can only HOPE that these folks take this company to the cleaners.
And let me clarify that I do not smoke.
Those smokers aren't going to become rich off of being fired for refusing to comply with a private companies policy... Only check they can get is Unemployment.
More companies are going to do this... and as much as smokers don't like it, its reality.
Should the company also be allowed to bar people from having sex because maternity leave is so expensive to the bottom line?
You can be fired for engaging in lawful activity in your personal life outside of work hours... whoever told you that lie, doesn't know what they are talking about.
Will they fire all of the fat employees?
I just say that this "This company isn't worth my business".
There have been companies like this for over a decade. While your point is well taken, what have been the lawsuit results against a private company?
I wonder if they drug test.
I don't think I would want to want to work for such a company. But I agree that they can do whatever they want to do.
They're within their rights but it's still outrageous. Workers should have their free time and their privacy.
I don't blame them for trying to reduce health care costs. I wonder if they ban other practices that cause increased health care costs. Maybe something like risky sexual behavior?
I hope they start walking to work, too. Cars kill and maim at a higher rate, I believe.
I agree. They should simply be barred from the company's health insurance policy. As long as the company is paying for their health benefits, I'd say they have a right to address an employee's health.
My daughter-in-law had to drop out of the running for a job at Alaska Airlines becuase she smokes. They taka a drug test and if you have smoked in the last six months it is expected to show up. They ask you if you smoke. If you say yes, you are out - no exceptions.
This job was a tremendous opportunity for her and she has discovered just how much smoking can really "cost."
Alaska gets massive reductions in health care costs by not hiring smokers. If only there was a "fast food" test. They'd save even more. 8^>
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