If you’re a smoker, your job prospects just got smaller. That’s because a growing number of employers won’t hire smokers.
Like, Baylor Health Care Systems - one of the largest health care providers in Texas. They no longer hire anyone who smokes, even people who smoke on their own time, in the privacy of their own home!
Today, companies in at least 21 states enforce similar “smoke-free hiring bans.” Managers say the bans are necessary to help reduce health care costs, because workers’ health insurance premiums have more than doubled in the past decade! So, the thinking is that by discouraging one of the deadliest health habits, companies help workers stay healthy, which in turn helps everyone save money and boost productivity.
The problem is: Where do you draw the line between what companies can enforce at work, and what people do in the privacy of their own homes? For example: A growing number of employers now require workers to take a “nicotine test,” to prove they haven’t been smoking.
Critics say that if employers can reject people who engage in legal behaviors - like smoking - then what’s to stop them from rejecting workers who drink too much alcohol, for example, or eat too many sugary foods? What do you think? How far should employers be allowed to go in adopting and enforcing smoke-free hiring bans? Share your thoughts at Facebook.com/JohnTesh.