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Hospitals Shift Smoking Bans to Smoker Ban

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Real World, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Right or wrong? What say you...


    Hospitals Shift Smoking Bans to Smoker Ban

    By A. G. SULZBERGER

    Published: February 10, 2011

    Smokers now face another risk from their habit: it could cost them a shot at a job.

    Steve Hebert for The New York Times

    More hospitals and medical businesses in many states are adopting strict policies that make smoking a reason to turn away job applicants, saying they want to increase worker productivity, reduce health care costs and encourage healthier living.

    The policies reflect a frustration that softer efforts — like banning smoking on company grounds, offering cessation programs and increasing health care premiums for smokers — have not been powerful-enough incentives to quit.

    The new rules essentially treat cigarettes like an illegal narcotic. Applications now explicitly warn of “tobacco-free hiring,” job seekers must submit to urine tests for nicotine and new employees caught smoking face termination.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/11/us/11smoking.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
     
  2. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Slippery slope, isn't it?

    Tobacco products are legal - if companies are given permission to hire only non-smokers based on health issues, won't they be emboldened to eventually hire only thin people, only vegetarians, only non-drinkers, only men (because women get pregnant) only those under 35 (because older workers tend to get sick more often) and so on and so on?

    Discrimination is discrimination no matter what it's based upon.
     
  3. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey

    Wrong.

    What's next? Internet and TV content monitoring?

    We're sorry, we don't hire "Jersey Shore" fans.
     
  4. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wouldn't it be nice if they went after the Illegal Aliens the way they go after the smokers (smoking is legal) if they did we wouldn't have to be paying for all the Free Sh!t the Aliens are getting.

    Illegal Aliens are bad for your health and your food money.


    :bricks:
     
  5. STFarmy

    STFarmy In the Starting Line-Up

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    100% agree, it's as easy as this.

    Though if there was ever a reason for an exception, this is it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  6. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess the opposing view would be whether or not you have a right to work somewhere to begin with. That, or whether or not a company should be forced to hire someone that costs it money. If for example, say a health insurance provider says a family plan for a smoker is 40% more than that of a non-smoker. Would an employer have a leg to stand on with respect to their ban? I'm merely presenting the alternative view point. I do think it's a slippery slope, but I also think that employers (generally speaking) should be able to hire and fire whomever they want, since it's their money, and their company.


    In issues like these I like to ask the question of "rights according to whom?". Regardless of where you may fall on the question of not hiring smokers, someone's "rights" will be put into question. Be they the rights of the smoker, or the rights of those who would, or would not hire them.
     
  7. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    That might be a valid issue but for the fact that many companies (especially those in health related fields) receive federal benefits of some sort - and I was under the impression that if you violated federal laws (such as having discrimanatory hiring practices) you would lose your federal funding. (I could be wrong on this, though, so if anyone knows differently, please correct me.)

    Also, aren't employers prohibited from finding out a person's health history before hiring them? Doesn't being "an equal opportunity employer" mean that they agree to hire people without basing their choice on anything other than that person's appitude for doing the job? If they can check health status (ie: smoking) they can also check for diabetes, heart disease, alcohol consumption, obesity, etc. and then rescind a job offer due to any of those things.

    Speaking strictly from a health/cost perspective, a smoker is not going to cost any more than a diabetic would. They've both got the same potential to be costly - yet neither can be confirmed ahead of time. Some smokers get sick, some do not. Some diabetics become sicker, some do not. Ditto virtually all other diseases and potential diseases.
     
  8. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Doesn't bother me a bit - surprise, surprise. Discrimination should be only for things you're born with - race, gender, whatever, not a choice to smoke. How about a guy who never ever takes a shower, wears the same clothes every day for a week and runs two miles at lunch. Is a hospital, or other employer, obligated to hire, or not fire, him because it would discriminate against dirty, smelly, disgusting people ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  9. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    Not necessarily true, but it's all shades of grey when considering one's identity versus actions, imo.

    Is it discrimination to refuse to hire violent felons, for example? (A company I own has an office that is entirely women -- I can assure you there is no way we would hire an ex-con who was convicted of rape to work there. Is that discrimination, too?)
     
  10. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Loon Liberals should be banned from working anywhere.
    :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  11. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Legally discrimination refers to race, religion and (in many cases) sexual preference. Discriminating based on recreational drug isn't covered AFAIK. I have had jobs where I had to take blood or hair samples to test for drug use as a condition of employment.
     
  12. PatsWSB47

    PatsWSB47 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #12 Jersey

    I'll go as far as allowing an employer the right to choose one worker over another based on who they think will be more effective on the job, all other things being essentially equal......similar abilities, experience skill etc, where non-smoking, youth,or good health potential is the tie breaker. That's fair isn't it?
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  13. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    Drug use is illegal - tobacco products are not.
     
  14. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    That might be fair, but that's not what they're proposing.
     
  15. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    IIRC I think the fed laws, at least one aspect of them, is that their rules kick in when a company has 14 or more employees. I might not be remembering it right though.


    Lot's of grey indeed.

    How about if you own a nightclub, or bar, and you want hot women working there. Would it be discriminatory to want attractive bartenders and servers? I don't think so. Would women would want to go to Chipendale's if the people there had to let someone let this on stage? Hmmm...probably not.


    [​IMG]
     
  16. patsfan13

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    Nicotine is a recreational drug with serious health risks, it's legality is purely an arbitrary social decision. Most workplaces don't allow alcohol another legal drug to be used on the job. most smokers aren't able to restrict their addiction to non working hours.
     
  17. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    I'm actually leaning toward agreeing with your position on this one.

    As to RW's point that business owners have rights too...that's a tough one for me. I can see with a small company like RW's, but when I look at huge corporations, I don't see them having the right to know someone's health condition. I would also never support a company's (NON) right to know someone's mental health history because the truth is, they don't have a right to know.

    I see large corporations as being given the privelage to exist. And they should only keep the right to exist as long as they provide more of a benefit to society than a burden. Despite the supreme court decision, companies aren't people and don't have the same rights as people do.

    Businesses should see themselves as given the right to exist in order to benefit society where as with people, that right is inherent as long as we walk this earth.
     
  18. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So if you are driving a subway train, an aircraft a bus the business doesn't have a right to know your mental health background......really? You want to fly with a pilot with a history of suicide attempts for (an extreme) example?
     
  19. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    It is not an "arbitrary social decision," 13, it's a legality.

    We are not arguing that smoking should be allowed on the job - we are arguing that people who smoke should be able to get jobs. I have no problem with a non-smoking workplace, just as I have no problem with a non-drinking workplace - but if you are speaking logically and comparing the two, then anyone who drinks, even when off-duty, should also be prohibited from working just like smokers who smoke off-duty are.

    Even better - if someone in a workplace is discovered to have a drinking problem he/she is generally offered a chance at rehab and not fired outright. Why should a smoker be treated any different?
     
  20. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Legal discrimination also applies to serious health conditions

    Family and Medical Leave Act - FMLA: Federal employment law on family and medical leave: HR Topic Page: HR Hero.com

    Age

    Age Discrimination in Employment Act - ADEA

    Disabilities
    Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendments Act

    And genetic disposition

    Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act: HRhero.com

    Nice try, though. Exactly what I expected from you.
     

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