US Marijuana Party

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

4 Workers Fired for Refusing Tobacco Test

Detroit Free 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.

Hmm...If the high cost of healthcare is really the driving force behind this latest nazi tactic then how come this company hasn't banned cheese burgers, alcohol, sugar, laziness and a whole host of other things that make people unhealthy and contribute to the high cost of healthcare.

I think targeting only tobacco smokers is just plain discrimination.


  • That's the thing, targeting ANYONE is discrimination. I wouldn't be surprised if this company gets slapped with a wrongful termination suit, because after all, what they're targeting is still legal (as opposed to the targeting of all the things that should be legal, which every company seems to do).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:03 PM  

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