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Fired for smoking? Constitutional?

Is it Constitutional to fire people for smoking

  • It's Constitutional to ban people from smoking

    Votes: 12 44.4%
  • It's Un-Constitutional

    Votes: 9 33.3%
  • It's Constitutional but Un-American

    Votes: 5 18.5%
  • It's Un-Constitutionl but that should be changed.

    Votes: 1 3.7%

  • Total voters
    27

tryreading

Steve
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independent_thinker2002 said:
Addiction is an illness recognized by the AMA.
I don't think they are qualified according to federal law:


Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination;

the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older;

Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments;

Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government; and

the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which, among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.

http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html
 

Deegan

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independent_thinker2002 said:
He was responding to you, lol, you admit you were burned.
And you debunked that assumption, remind me to take you off my Christmas list!;)
 

Thorgasm

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Deegan said:
And you debunked that assumption, remind me to take you off my Christmas list!;)
Can I still be on your Holidays list?;)
 

tryreading

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independent_thinker2002 said:
Addiction is an illness recognized by the AMA.
Looks like its not covered under ADA/discrimination law:

Some conditions are not considered to be disabilities for the purposes of the Act.

These are:

addiction to or dependency on alcohol, nicotine, or any other substance (unless the substance has been medically prescribed)
the condition known as seasonal allergic rhinitis (e.g. hayfever), except where it aggravates the effect of another condition
tendency to set fires
tendency to steal
tendency to physical or sexual abuse of other persons
exhibitionism
voyeurism.


http://www.drc-gb.org/businessandservices/bizdetails.asp?print=true&id=94&title=ep
 

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Blind man said:
http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=14f4c1db-80a7-418a-865c-46b8c329cbcc&f=copy

Scott's Miracle Gro hs given a majority of its employees year to quit smoking. If they don't? They get fired. This isn't saying, "you cnt smoke on company time." This isn't sying "you can't smoke on company property." This is saying "you can't smoke ANYTIME, not even in the privacy of your own home on your day off."

Is such a ruling constitutional?

Another company in a different state has said "workers cannot enter work while smelling of smoke." This is becuse it is against the State constitution to fire people for smoking.

I do not think smoking a is constitutional right.In my opinion if a company has to pay for insurance then they can demand that their employees to be some what healthy.
 

Thorgasm

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Blind man said:
Another company in a different state has said "workers cannot enter work while smelling of smoke." This is becuse it is against the State constitution to fire people for smoking.
That one won't last long. Smelling of smoke does not prove that you yourself smoke. It just means you were around a smoker. This would mean that everyone in your household could not smoke. You could not stand by a smoker at the train/bus stop. You could not eat breakfast at a diner where smoking is allowed. You could not take a cab with a smoking driver.
 

Thorgasm

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jamesrage said:
I do not think smoking a is constitutional right.In my opinion if a company has to pay for insurance then they can demand that their employees to be some what healthy.
Then it will be no Twinkies, saturated fats, or alcohol either. This is a slippery slope. What exactly is "somewhat healthy"?
 

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tryreading said:
Its fine for an employer to ban smoking. The Constitution has nothing to do with it. Smoking is detrimental to the health of the smoker, and therefore affects health insurance rates paid by the company. Smokers need excessive breaks during the workday, which affects their production. Smokers stink.

Any of these issues is grounds for firing an employee, and none of them are un-Constitutional. Is smoking an unalienable right? Since when is an addiction a Constitutionally protected right?

A company can't fire you because of race, religion, gender, and other important basic issues which can't be changed by an individual. Smoking doesn't fit into this category, and is not protected, because it is only a bad habit which can be dropped. Don't drink, smoke, or curse while at work. Don't burp loudly. Don't wear blue jeans. Don't be a jackass.

Drinking after hours shouldn't be compared to smoking, as long as one is not an alcoholic. A person can have a drink or two after work and come in the next morning with no ill effect and all alcohol out of his bloodstream. Smoking doesn't work this way. Who has one or two cigarettes of an evening, and that's it? It doesn't work that way. There is no social cigarette smoker as far as I know.
Let me ask you something: Have you ever smoked? I'm guessing no. There IS such a thing as a social smoker - I was one four years ago. I was able to stop at will, rarely ever even bought my own cigarettes because I'd just bum them off of my friends. I didn't start becoming a serious smoker until my husband was sent to Iraq for the first time.

Now, how often do you drink alcohol? You are aware that alcohol can become an addiction as well, right? Alcoholism is just as serious as being a smoker. My father in law was given only a couple of years to live if he didn't lay off of the alcohol. He's been trying, and he does so wonderfully for a few months, but something inevitably happens that sends him right back to the bottle. He's got to go in and have his next checkup soon, and we're all terrified of what they're going to find.

Smokers do not need any more breaks than any other employee is granted. When I was in the Air Force, my primary workcenter's supervisors allowed us smokers to go out whenever we wanted as long as our work was getting accomplished. When I transferred to a new workcenter, my supervisor only allowed me to go out once for 15 minutes in the mornings and once for 15 minutes in the afternoons. Quite a drastic change, but if I could manage it, anyone could.

I can understand a company having a no smoking policy during work hours, but what someone does on their own time is their own business. If anything, the employer should simply raise that employee's monthly insurance rates if they have that big of a problem with it. But I certainly wouldn't want to work for someone that tried to dictate what I do when I'm not at work.
 

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independent_thinker2002 said:
Then it will be no Twinkies, saturated fats, or alcohol either. This is a slippery slope. What exactly is "somewhat healthy"?
What ever the insurance company will insure you for the cheapest.
 

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jamesrage said:
What ever the insurance company will insure you for the cheapest.
I notice we are talking about the insurance company, what does that have to do with firing someone? If we want to talk about what is cheapest, people with kids have more insurance claims. Perhaps you should be fired for procreating. Only single people who live in a bubble can work. :rofl
 

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Honestly, I wish my company would follow suit. If they were offering to pay for treatments, counselling, etc..., I'd jump at it in a heart-beat. Seeing as their health care costs are going down, maybe I'll pick up some Scotts' Miracle-Gro (SMG-NYSE) stock. :smoking:
 

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Stace said:
I can understand a company having a no smoking policy during work hours, but what someone does on their own time is their own business. If anything, the employer should simply raise that employee's monthly insurance rates if they have that big of a problem with it. But I certainly wouldn't want to work for someone that tried to dictate what I do when I'm not at work.
In my example using Pete Lien, off-hour smoking hindered one's on-hour job performance by reducing or eliminating their ability to use a resporator, and increased one's risks of lung infection due to the work environment.
 

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independent_thinker2002 said:
I notice we are talking about the insurance company, what does that have to do with firing someone?
Smokers cost more to insure than non-smokers.
 

tryreading

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Stace said:
Let me ask you something: Have you ever smoked? I'm guessing no. There IS such a thing as a social smoker - I was one four years ago. I was able to stop at will, rarely ever even bought my own cigarettes because I'd just bum them off of my friends. I didn't start becoming a serious smoker until my husband was sent to Iraq for the first time.

Now, how often do you drink alcohol? You are aware that alcohol can become an addiction as well, right? Alcoholism is just as serious as being a smoker. My father in law was given only a couple of years to live if he didn't lay off of the alcohol. He's been trying, and he does so wonderfully for a few months, but something inevitably happens that sends him right back to the bottle. He's got to go in and have his next checkup soon, and we're all terrified of what they're going to find.

Smokers do not need any more breaks than any other employee is granted. When I was in the Air Force, my primary workcenter's supervisors allowed us smokers to go out whenever we wanted as long as our work was getting accomplished. When I transferred to a new workcenter, my supervisor only allowed me to go out once for 15 minutes in the mornings and once for 15 minutes in the afternoons. Quite a drastic change, but if I could manage it, anyone could.

I can understand a company having a no smoking policy during work hours, but what someone does on their own time is their own business. If anything, the employer should simply raise that employee's monthly insurance rates if they have that big of a problem with it. But I certainly wouldn't want to work for someone that tried to dictate what I do when I'm not at work.
I don't smoke, never did. I drink, but socially.

Social smokers either quit or get worse. If they become addicted, they shouldn't be hired by a non-smoking company, and should be fired if they begin smoking while already employed.

I've seen a lot of smokers take more breaks than the non-smokers they work with.

No one should be hired if an active alcoholic, either, and should be fired if they become an alcoholic while employed.

If a company has a no smoking policy, people should do like you suggest and not work there if they smoke. The thing about only smoking on one's personal time would defeat some purposes of the rule, the health aspect especially. Health insurance is very expensive for a company, and I believe insurance costs can be lowered for a company that doesn't hire smokers.

The idea you mentioned about extra health insurance costs for smokers is used by at least one company, info is posted on this thread.
 

tryreading

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independent_thinker2002 said:
I notice we are talking about the insurance company, what does that have to do with firing someone? If we want to talk about what is cheapest, people with kids have more insurance claims. Perhaps you should be fired for procreating. Only single people who live in a bubble can work. :rofl
Health insurance is vital, and employees should do reasonable things that help their company afford it, like dropping the smoking habit.

People with kids should be fired, too.



(Just kidding on the last sentence)
 

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Busta said:
In my example using Pete Lien, off-hour smoking hindered one's on-hour job performance by reducing or eliminating their ability to use a resporator, and increased one's risks of lung infection due to the work environment.
But that's not a very common occurence. Sure, that particular company obviously has occupational safety reasons for requiring their employees to be non smokers, but I would assume that they are told up front about it, and wouldn't take the job if they couldn't handle it. It's obviously quite different when there are no occupational hazards associated with smoking, AND when an employer just up and decides he doesn't want any smokers working for him.
 

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Stace said:
But that's not a very common occurence. Sure, that particular company obviously has occupational safety reasons for requiring their employees to be non smokers, but I would assume that they are told up front about it, and wouldn't take the job if they couldn't handle it. It's obviously quite different when there are no occupational hazards associated with smoking, AND when an employer just up and decides he doesn't want any smokers working for him.
Hm, point taken.
Yes, we were told about that policy and had to agree to it as a condition of employment.

So then, do you believe that employers should be allowed to not higher a smoker if said employer could show just caws?

On the other hand, since the act of smoking is not a protected class, as tryreading has illustrated, then why shouldn't any privet business owner have the ability too just say no to smokers?

Why should the government stick it's nose in someone's privet business, given that no law is being violated?
 

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Busta said:
Hm, point taken.
Yes, we were told about that policy and had to agree to it as a condition of employment.

So then, do you believe that employers should be allowed to not higher a smoker if said employer could show just caws?
If an employer can show just cause that smoking at any time would pose an occupational risk, then absolutely they can make it a condition of employment.

On the other hand, since the act of smoking is not a protected class, as tryreading has illustrated, then why shouldn't any privet business owner have the ability too just say no to smokers?
During work hours, companies can do what they want. I just don't think an employer should be able to dictate what you do in your personal time, unless, as already stated, it is an occupational hazard. I mean, we certainly wouldn't want our employer to dictate what we can or cannot eat, when we can or cannot have sex, what we can or cannot watch on TV.....if we let them dictate our personal life in such a way with no just cause just on smoking, there's no telling what they might come up with next.

Why should the government stick it's nose in someone's privet business, given that no law is being violated?
I'm not sure what you mean here - where did the government come into play on this? The only things I'm aware of concerning government and smoking is that a lot of states are making practically all public places smoke free. Is that what you're referring to, or was there something I missed?
 

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Stace said:
But that's not a very common occurence. Sure, that particular company obviously has occupational safety reasons for requiring their employees to be non smokers, but I would assume that they are told up front about it, and wouldn't take the job if they couldn't handle it. It's obviously quite different when there are no occupational hazards associated with smoking, AND when an employer just up and decides he doesn't want any smokers working for him.
It really doesn't matter how much the company saves in insurance. Hell, it wouldn't matter if it cost the company more to employ non smokers. The fact of the matter is, it is a private company. They can require whatever they want of their employees, as long as it's legal. Dressed in a tutu everyday? Sure, why not. Sing ring-around-the-rosie before you can break for lunch? Absolutely. If you don't like it, you can quit. Nobody is twisting these people's arms.

And it's not like the company's giving them three hours to quit. They're given a year.
 

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Employers are free to close their business and not have one at all if they have a problem with employees not being their personal property 24/7. Red China will gladly take them in. The argument 'it's a private company' is just too ridiculous to respond to; it is a clear indication of naivete.
 

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Picaro said:
The argument 'it's a private company' is just too ridiculous to respond to; it is a clear indication of naivete.

Rather than naivete, it may represent a lack of basic empathy and/or a lack of intellectual honesty. Those who would reduce others to the status of chattel are displaying a contempt so deep that what seems more clear to me is that the person making the statement has either not really placed themself in the same position, or have somehow fooled themselves into thinking they would react in a way quite different than the way they most certainly would react.

No amount of sophistry a person might offer could convince me that they would not resent being fired from a job for having brown hair or wearing glasses or liking ice cream, for instance, and the lack of recognition that there are limits to the degree with which an employer can control an employee does not show me much. It is such an extreme position to take that it is inherently hyprocritical.
 

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Gardener said:
Rather than naivete, it may represent a lack of basic empathy and/or a lack of intellectual honesty. Those who would reduce others to the status of chattel are displaying a contempt so deep that what seems more clear to me is that the person making the statement has either not really placed themself in the same position, or have somehow fooled themselves into thinking they would react in a way quite different than the way they most certainly would react.

No amount of sophistry a person might offer could convince me that they would not resent being fired from a job for having brown hair or wearing glasses or liking ice cream, for instance, and the lack of recognition that there are limits to the degree with which an employer can control an employee does not show me much. It is such an extreme position to take that it is inherently hyprocritical.
The Constitution sets limitations on the powers that government has over its citizens, not what private companies can require of their employees. Arguments like the above are heavy on emotion, and light on reason.

You may not like the company's decision to require its employees not to smoke; that doesn't mean that it is illegal or that it should be illegal. If you have a problem with this policy then DON'T WORK FOR THE COMPANY. It's that simple.
 

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Yes, what Gardener said.

The issue isn't about smoking, it's about fundementals. 'Health care costs' as a 'reason' is bogus, as smokers are already paying a premium that exceeds their supposed higher health costs; insurance companies are just charging extra as a windfall, basically. 'Productivity' is not an issue, either, as there is plenty of evidence otherwise.


If 'health care costs' were a real issue, then companies will refuse to hire people who drive cars, and insurance companies will charge higher premium for automobile commuters. The whole 'higher health care costs' excuse is false, anyway; insurance companies are charging more because they can, and are doing so to cover losses in other bad investments in real estate and hotel and casino speculations, mainly.

There is also no 'right to not be offended' anywhere in the Constitution, either.
 
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Picaro said:
Yes, what Gardener said.

The issue isn't about smoking, it's about fundementals. 'Health care costs' as a 'reason' is bogus, as smokers are already paying a premium that exceeds their supposed higher health costs; insurance companies are just charging extra as a windfall, basically. 'Productivity' is not an issue, either, as there is plenty of evidence otherwise.


If 'health care costs' were a real issue, then companies will refuse to hire people who drive cars, and insurance companies will charge higher premium for automobile commuters. The whole 'higher health care costs' excuse is false, anyway; insurance companies are charging more because they can, and are doing so to cover losses in other bad investments in real estate and hotel and casino speculations, mainly.

There is also no 'right to not be offended' anywhere in the Constitution, either.
It doesn't matter, though. The thing is, here, we're debating the constitutionality of this sort of practice - not the justifiability or ethics of firing smokers. Even if you disagree with it, you must admit that there is nothing in the Constitution prohibiting private corporations from discriminating on the basis of whether or not someone smokes, and until Congress legislates that smoking is a protected behavior, no one can stop a company from firing you because you smoke.
 

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Picaro said:
Yes, what Gardener said.

The issue isn't about smoking, it's about fundementals. 'Health care costs' as a 'reason' is bogus, as smokers are already paying a premium that exceeds their supposed higher health costs; insurance companies are just charging extra as a windfall, basically. 'Productivity' is not an issue, either, as there is plenty of evidence otherwise.
Who are you to decide that the premium for smokers is too high? Have you weighed the higher health costs of smokers versus the higher premiums, or are you just making **** up?

Picaro said:
If 'health care costs' were a real issue, then companies will refuse to hire people who drive cars, and insurance companies will charge higher premium for automobile commuters.
What? How does driving a car negatively impact your health anywhere close to the degree that smoking does?

Picaro said:
The whole 'higher health care costs' excuse is false, anyway; insurance companies are charging more because they can,
That's what business do. If people are willing to pay for it, that's what it's worth.

Picaro said:
and are doing so to cover losses in other bad investments in real estate and hotel and casino speculations, mainly.
Your view of corporate economics is certainly...interesting...

Picaro said:
There is also no 'right to not be offended' anywhere in the Constitution, either.
What?
 
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