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Where there’s smoke, there’s fire … or, in some cases, no hire

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employee Benefits Program,Hiring,Human Resources

Many employers are deciding not to hire smokers, and still more are trying to limit employees’ use of tobacco. Companies are screening new hires for nicotine as a condition for employment, imposing higher health-benefit premiums for smokers and trying to help smokers quit. Policies run the gamut:

  • Shoe manufacturer Weyco gave employees an ultimatum: quit smoking or be fired.
  • High-end optics lab Kimball Physics bans possession of tobacco on-site and prohibits anyone who has used tobacco within the previous two hours from entering its workplace.
  • The Cleveland Clinic, Alaska Airlines and Union Pacific Railroad have stopped hiring smokers.
  • The Massachusetts Hospital Association’s employees who self-report smoking can receive support from a smoking-cessation program.

Some anti-smoking policies are motivated by pressure to increase productivity, on the theory that smokers take more frequent breaks and are out sick more often than...(register to read more)

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