More Opinion by The Springboard

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

IF YOU SMOKE, YOU'RE FIRED

John Tesh is a bit of nutcase, if you ask me. I think he's long ago gone off the deep end to be sure. I'm not exactly certain of the exact moment that became true, but I just know that it happened. I think it's important to just get that out in the open right off the bat.

The other day I happened to be tuned in to his radio show (I didn't pick it by the way. My wife had it on), and he began rambling on about a little trend developing whereas companies may have actually started extending their no smoking policies to not just in the workplace, but at home as well. In such a company an employee can actually be tested for nicotine, and if the test result comes back positive, the employee could be fired.

This is an absolutely ridiculous idea to be sure, and to be sure as well, John Tesh seemed to be for the idea. Not surprising. I don't think John Tesh ever quite sees the forest for the trees, you know.

The big question I have for any company who would even consider such a dumb idea is this; where does it end? How far will you ultimately go into my private life?

Oh sure, the companies who've come up with this bright little idea cite all kinds of reasons for justifying it. "Smokers costs companies a lot of money," Tesh said, reading from a study. According to that study smokers tend to require more days off, are less productive, have more health issues and burden the companies with higher insurance costs.

All true. I won't argue that. But there are too many other things that employees do outside of work that can cause all of those same problems. What if a worker decides to play a little football over the weekend? He may break an arm or sprain an ankle. Surely he'll have to go and see a doctor about that. Surely he might miss some time off from work as a result. He may even miss several days in the case of something broken.

And of course the list goes on. Greasy food causes heart disease. Drinking causes crashes, hangovers, and sometimes people become alcoholics. Should we bar workers from engaging in these activities too because it may cost the company some money in lost time or productivity or health costs?

The idea is simply dumb, and I hope anyone employed by a company like this would have the power to quit and take their services elsewhere, and that any customer who buys goods or services from such a company would promptly boycott them.

Otherwise this will just be the tip of the iceberg.

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