Geisinger instituting no-hire policy for tobacco users

Discussion in 'Archive: Your Jedi Council Community' started by TiniTinyTony, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. TiniTinyTony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2003
    star 5
    Starting Feb. 1, 2012, Geisinger will no longer hire applicants who use tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing or smokeless tobacco; this affects any applicants receiving offer letters as of that date.

    Geisinger is joining dozens of hospitals and medical organizations across the country that are adopting strict policies that make smoking a reason to turn away job applicants, saying they want to encourage healthier living, decrease absenteeism and reduce health care costs. Non-nicotine hiring policies are legal in 20 states including Pennsylvania.

    During the hiring process, all applicants ? including those seeking full-and part-time positions, flex, volunteers, and students enrolled in Geisinger-based schools ? will be tested for nicotine as part of the routine drug screening. Locums and travelers will be tested by their agencies prior to starting work with Geisinger.

    The test will screen for cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, nicotine patches/gum, cigars, etc. The test only detects active nicotine users, not those exposed to secondhand smoke.

    Applicants who test positive for nicotine use will be welcome to re-apply in six months provided they are nicotine free at that time.

    Current employees are not affected by this new policy, but are encouraged to take advantage of the tobacco cessation programs offered through the Employee Wellness program.

    Thoughts?


  2. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    This is the logical consequence of not having single payer universal healthcare in the U.S. As private sector employer healthcare costs skyrocket, employers are increasingly incentivized to try to pick and choose from the healthiest individuals. If employers can demonstrate to potential health insurers that they can bring a healthier pool of individuals into the system relative to their competitors, they get leverage to negotiate better premium costs.

    It's free market healthcare working to improve the quality of life of all Americans. We can start by forcing the unhealthiest Ameericans out of the workforce entirely. After we finish with the smokers, we can start in on the drinkers, and then finish off with the fatties, although those last two of course would leave us with an awful labor shortage.
  3. Aytee-Aytee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 5

    JA! JA! BESEITIGEN SIE DIE UNERWÃœNSCHTEN MENSCHEN! SIEG HEIL!
  4. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Lee just compared the inevitable results of the free market to Naziism.

    This thread is blowing my mind.
  5. Aytee-Aytee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 5
    No, I was comparing the post above mine the "First They Came.." quote by Martin Neimoller.
    After we finish with the smokers, we can start in on the drinkers, and then finish off with the fatties, although those last two of course would leave us with an awful labor shortage.

  6. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Is this legal? Surely you can't refuse to hire someone because of a lifestyle choice, especially if it can't be proven it will affect working for the company. If you can't discriminate on an employee's colour or physical ability, how can you do so based on what legal drugs they take?
  7. Darth Tunes SfC Part III Commissioner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10
    I think this is completely ridiculous.


    Los Angeles Lakers: Drama, guaranteed.
  8. darthhelinith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 10, 2009
    star 5
    Well it's their choice I guess. After all, they are health care companies. It's in their intrest.
    Although I wouldn't be suprised if this is at some point challenged by the Tabacco industry, if it hasn't been already.
  9. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Doesn't seem obvious to everyone how private managed care encourages exactly this kind of behavior? That's why we need universal healthcare. This kind of thing keeps getting worse because healthcare cost increases continue to outpace the rate of inflation and overwhelm more and more of the economy.

    This is why so many major corporations support the idea of single payer universal healthcare. Eventually, without additional healthcare reform, companies will only be able to afford to hire people who are unlikely ever to get sick.
  10. TahiriVeilaSolo69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2002
    star 5
  11. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    It's rather consistent with the, er, Nazi (SIEG HEIL) drug policies that many employers (in the United States) have regarding alcohol and marijuana. That is, it's a consistently stupid, gross, and unwarranted violation of the employee's privacy. Drug screenings and tests should only be allowed when it would be dangerous to allow someone to do their job impaired-- e.g., an airline pilot. Someone standing at a register while high as a kite isn't going to hurt anyone, and if he does a poor job, he should be fired like anyone else for being incompetent. If he does a decent enough job, why should the employer give a **** if he's high? Drug tests can also show positive results even if the person used in his free time and was sober when showing up to work or an interview.

    Tobacco users shouldn't be treated any differently either. Take too many breaks to go outside? Fired, just like anyone else would be.


    Oh yeah, and I'm glad we don't have that communist universal single-payer ****. I'm an American, dammit. I want to go bankrupt if I get cancer.
  12. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Although I am in favour of Universal Healthcare (coming from a country that has it), I have proposed this argument to some of the biggest fans of private healthcare and their response is that there is not a true free market curently. If the government red tape and legislation was not in place the health system would be truely free and the cost would go down.

    I don't know enough about it, but that's the argument I always hear.
  13. Jedi_Reject_Jesse Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2004
    star 7
    When they came for the smokers, I said nothing because I wasn't a smoker...
  14. Aytee-Aytee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 5
    I think the major problem in this case would be that drugs are still illegal in most states. Most employers I've known don't really care if an employee shows up too buzzed or high to function, they simply don't want to deal with having illegal drugs on their property.
  15. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    True, but someone who only does drugs or carries drugs while off the clock will still fail the urine test.
  16. Aytee-Aytee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 5
    True.
  17. jacktherack Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2008
    star 4
    Am i the only one who has never heard of Geisinger? what is that some local store in germany? i honestly don't know.
  18. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    The problem with smoking is it kills in large numbers the way Alcohol and illicit drugs does not. It is healthier to not smoke and honestly, I don't want my social security money going to a smoker. They choose to smoke and now I have to pay the price. No way. You know its a drug and what it does to you. If you choose to smoke then their should be consequences. Thats normal. At least drinking and drugs has a higher price tag on a personal level. If you want to smoke then you should have to pay, wether its more money for them or not get hired. The rest of us that don't smoke like our lungs.

  19. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Exactly.

    As far as the tobacco companies challenging it, I would say not likely. They aren't as big or well-funded as they once were. Tobacco farms are dying out, and I say that as someone who grew up surrounded by them.

    I don't think it's comparable to discriminating against someone due to skin color or disability though, as smoking is, technically, a behavior. One would have to make the argument that smoking is not a choice. Given its addictive nature I suppose that argument could be made, but I wouldn't compare it to a physical characteristic.
  20. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Tobacco companies prefer focusing on the sweet, sweet, loosely-regulated markets of developing countries.
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    If 300 million Chinese do it, how can it be wrong?
  22. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
  23. Count_Drabbu Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2007
    star 2
    That and they wouldn't be in a position to sue, since they wouldn't be the aggrieved party. Someone denied a job would have to sue. The companies could support a plaintiff, but not be a plaintiff. Now as for whether such a suit could succeed...

    Employers can choose whom to hire based on any criteria -- or none at all -- except for ones prohibited by law (sex and race being the obvious examples). If a company wanted to institute a "No Twilight Fans" policy, they could. Someone suing the company would have to show that the policy violates some specific law, and there isn't one for "anything the prospective employee does outside the workplace." People lose the jobs they already have every day for things they do after hours, so of course employers are going to consider such things when hiring. Now, all that said, there's always a chance that the policy as implemented violates some statute or other even if the basic idea doesn't. But there's not nearly enough info here to hazard a guess.
  24. Ostrich_Stapler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2004
    star 5
    Being an amazingly old-fashioned person I fully support the free market and have no issues with this policy. I wouldn't hire a smoker either if I had to consider the health insurance and an equally qualified non-smoker applied. I do not consider the "complaint" that the free market is pushing more people away from smoking and more toward pursuing healthy lifestyles in order to get and retain jobs as valid. But again, I'm a strange old-fashioned person.
  25. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    OUR FREE MARKET, WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME, THY KINGDOM COME THY WILL BE DONE