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Employers ponder tough tactics to halt smoking (spouse can't smoke either, random testing mandatory)
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 6/17/08 | Victoria Colliver

Posted on 06/17/2008 1:08:14 PM PDT by LibWhacker

Howard Weyers tried the "carrot" approach by giving his employees incentives and encouragement to quit smoking. But when that didn't work, he resorted to the stick. A big stick.

Weyers, owner of a health care benefits administrator in Lansing, Mich., gave his 200 employees an ultimatum in 2004: Quit smoking in 15 months or lose your job. He refused to hire smokers. Ultimately, he extended his smoking ban to employees' spouses and monitored compliance through mandatory random blood testing.

Weyers' method, while effective, wouldn't fly in California because the state has laws that prohibit employers from making hiring or firing decisions based on employee participation in a legal activity. But participants in a smoking cessation forum hosted Monday by the Commonwealth Club of California found the idea nonetheless intriguing.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: employers; employmentatwill; freedomofcontract; halt; pufflist; smoking; tough; wod

1 posted on 06/17/2008 1:14:09 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker
California because the state has laws that prohibit employers from making hiring or firing decisions based on employee participation in a legal activity.

Private companies should be able to hire and fire and employee people on any criteria they want. That's why they're private. If people don't like it, they can work somewhere else.

If I own a business and don't want to hire people with tattoos or drive a red car, it's absurd the government can tell me, as a private business owner, otherwise.
2 posted on 06/17/2008 1:17:38 PM PDT by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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To: LibWhacker

No way I’d ever work for that guy. I can see certain situations where an employer might want to restrict their employees from smoking at work, and MAYBE from smoking at home (if a job demanded peak physical performance, perhaps). But not allowing a spouse to smoke? No way.

He may be within his rights to do it in some states, but good luck getting people to work for a martinet like that.

}:-)4


3 posted on 06/17/2008 1:19:12 PM PDT by Moose4 (http://moosedroppings.wordpress.com -- Because 20 million self-important blogs just aren't enough.)
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To: LibWhacker
What happens when all the money we've been sending to our Saudi friends < cough, cough> comes back to buy companies that enforce Sharia law on their employees.
4 posted on 06/17/2008 1:22:35 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Whale oil: the renewable biofuel for the 21st century.)
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To: Moose4
....but good luck getting people to work for a martinet like that...

I agree. This guy has been on his crusade for several years. I hope a competitor hires many of the people he's fired and that the competitor puts him out of business.

5 posted on 06/17/2008 1:29:54 PM PDT by GunsareOK
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To: KarlInOhio
What happens when all the money we've been sending to our Saudi friends < cough, cough> comes back to buy companies that enforce Sharia law on their employees.

Excellent question.

6 posted on 06/17/2008 1:46:42 PM PDT by Maceman
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To: TexasGunLover

That battle was lost long ago.

I might agree with you if the government totally abandoned that power. But it won’t, and it will continue to expand its power.


7 posted on 06/17/2008 1:51:25 PM PDT by chesley ( Ya can't make chick'n dumplin's outta chick'n feathers!!)
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To: Maceman

Yes and just wait til they develop a blood test for cheeseburger consumption! You non-smokers that say it can’t happen to you be forewarned: they are very near perfecting a spray that can be used on the hands to determine if a person has recently handled a pizza take-out box.


8 posted on 06/17/2008 2:34:48 PM PDT by at bay ("We actually did an evil......" Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google)
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To: TexasGunLover

I do not agree. What if a business owner declared they would not employ anyone who kept a firearm at home?


9 posted on 06/17/2008 3:11:19 PM PDT by tarawa
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To: LibWhacker

I wouldn’t work for the man or any company that was this power mad. I’d starve myself to death before working for this type.


10 posted on 06/17/2008 4:13:19 PM PDT by Pilated
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To: LibWhacker

I wouldn’t work for the man or any company that was this power mad. I’d starve myself to death before working for this type.


11 posted on 06/17/2008 4:15:44 PM PDT by Pilated
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To: LibWhacker

I wouldn’t work for the man or any company that was this power mad. I’d starve myself to death before working for this type.


12 posted on 06/17/2008 4:15:44 PM PDT by Pilated
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To: TexasGunLover

Look, it’s very simple. This is discrimination, end of story. If he’s concerned about the cost of covering smokers, then there should be a way to simply penalize them by covering less of their healthcare. That would be fair and equitable. Firing them is atrocious when there are ways to account and not lose your livelihood.

Since legally smoking does not qualify as a morals clause violation on any planet that I’m aware of, I’m not sure why you’re defending the owner on this.


13 posted on 06/17/2008 4:46:00 PM PDT by Rutles4Ever (Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia, et ubi ecclesia vita eterna!)
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To: Rutles4Ever
Since legally smoking does not qualify as a morals clause violation on any planet that I’m aware of,

You obviously haven't lived in the San Francisco Bay area.

14 posted on 06/17/2008 4:57:41 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: LibWhacker
I wonder if this is just the start? I doubt it it. I wonder if he will be so vigilant regarding employees who might contract AIDS insomuch as the modes of transmission are fairly well established at this time. Somehow I doubt it.
15 posted on 06/17/2008 5:26:42 PM PDT by Polynikes (Yo, homie. Is that my briefcase?)
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To: tarawa
I do not agree. What if a business owner declared they would not employ anyone who kept a firearm at home?

Why should the government force an employer to do something? By your logic, I should be able to come into your house, make a snack and watch TV, because, again by your example, you have no rights.

Private businesses should be able to hire who they want. No one forces you to work for someone. If you don't like their terms, don't work there.
16 posted on 06/17/2008 7:49:22 PM PDT by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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To: Rutles4Ever
Look, it’s very simple. This is discrimination, end of story.

Sigh... discrimination, the cry of the liberal.

I’m not sure why you’re defending the owner on this.

Duh... because they're a private business owner. If they want you to work in a suit they can enforce that. If they want you to wear a clown suit, they can enforce that. If they want you to talk with your mouth full while talking to clients they can enforce that.

No one forces you to work for someone. If you don't like the terms of employment, find another job. I wouldn't work for a company that forbid me to carry a weapon. However, I do believe in the right of a private entity to enforcing their rules when you are under their terms. Imagine as a homeowner, you could not enforce rules upon your visitors. You're proposing removing rights of the employer from setting their terms. Since your employment with them is by your choice, you have to follow their rules.

Saddling the business owner with more government mandates is just furthers the liberal cause.

Socialism is running rampant at Free Republic. Anti-Business, "Big Oil" whiners, anti-private business rights people are just losing their minds.

I expect calls for price restrictions and more government regulation against "discrimination" to break out at any time here. I am just astounded by the liberal stances everyone is starting to take around here...
17 posted on 06/17/2008 7:56:40 PM PDT by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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To: TexasGunLover

Gee, that’s interesting. You seem to think the Constitution is a suicide pact.

If every business in America banded together and outlawed any employee from owning a handgun, what would you do? Your brand of freedom can swing to the other end of the pendulum, too. It’s only “fair”, I would venture, as long as it doesn’t affect you personally.

I find it peculiar that you prefer to defend the private rights of corporation over the private rights of an individual.


18 posted on 06/18/2008 9:45:23 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever (Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia, et ubi ecclesia vita eterna!)
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To: TexasGunLover
Private companies should be able to hire and fire and employee people on any criteria they want. That's why they're private. If people don't like it, they can work somewhere else.

If I own a business and don't want to hire people with tattoos or drive a red car, it's absurd the government can tell me, as a private business owner, otherwise.

I agree.

The converse is true also. If I, as a business owner, want to hire ONLY smokers, and allow smoking at my place of business, I should be able to.

I, as a business owner, should be able to allow smoking at my business, by the general public, and if someone doesn't like it they don't have to frequent my business.

Sounds fair to me.

19 posted on 06/18/2008 9:52:33 AM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: Just another Joe
I, as a business owner, should be able to allow smoking at my business, by the general public, and if someone doesn't like it they don't have to frequent my business.

I agree 100%. You own the business... you'll either survive in the market or not based on your business practices but you have the choice, not the government.
20 posted on 06/18/2008 9:58:11 AM PDT by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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To: Rutles4Ever
I find it peculiar that you prefer to defend the private rights of corporation over the private rights of an individual.

They are not in conflict. They are equal and one in the same. In a free market, profit will drive those to conduct business in a profitable way.

In your example, if all of the businesses joined together and made a decision that did not work in the market, other businesses would pop up and fill the need.

Welcome to the free market, it works in all cases!
21 posted on 06/18/2008 9:59:56 AM PDT by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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