First off, let me say I don't smoke, but I did in high school and a little in my 20s. This is one of those "It doesn't effect me" type of issues, but I know one day we will all be effected by this kind of scrutiny. Some day soon, everything from health records to DNA tests will become a part of the screening process so companies can discriminate in attempts to finding the "perfect" employee. Already, companies have access to your credit and other sensitive material to weed out potential bad hires.
Real nice.OKEMOS - 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.
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.