I'm not gonna lie, i smoke, and have for 10 years (almost). well, my company is now testing for nicotine and if you fail (regardless the source) they are charging a surcharge. however, there IS a catch. they are ONLY requiring those who have medical coverage under this company. they are also requiring a biometric screening for covered employees, those who (also) do not submit are being charged a surcharge.
now here is my problem........they are not requiring ALL employees to submit to this testing like they would a drug test. only those who have HEALTH.
would that not be considered discrimination?
and for employees who don't have coverage else where are REQUIRED to take the company's health insurance. is that even legal? that's the ONLY reason i'm still on it, cause i have no other options and they require us to have it-trust me, i'm looking for an affordable private insurance.
and my next question, how can they hold nicotine against people when it's still legal? and it doesn't matter the source of nicotine. ecigs, patches, etc are all "failed test". i get if they want a "smoke free work place" ok so then ban smoking from company property.
now before anyone goes on to say and bash for me to just quit, i'm working on that part, that's not the point. a nicotine addiction is worse than crack......clinically proven
They are probably doing the testing at the request of the company offering the health plan. The insurance is optional and so is the testing so no, I don't believe they are breaking any discrimination laws or anything like that.
Stupid phone :( Insurance companies can, and do, hold tobacco usage against their clients because it is proven to increase health care costs which increases the insurance company's expenses. It's in their best interest to choose to either not offer coverage to tobacco users or give them higher premiums to offset the extra cost associated with it.
by Anonymous - Original Poster
February 27, 2013 at 4:23 PM
so then how can the company require the testing on only the few select? regardless if it's insurance requirements...NORMALLY if i get something the insurance requires, they submit it to me, not my company
such as copay's, or if they need additional information to preapprove a procedure, they go through the dr and me, not my company
Yep I have heard of that. I wonder when they will start charging a surcharge for overweight people too.
February 27, 2013 at 5:39 PM
Same here kinda. If you are admit you smoke on a form that we were given at the start of the year, you were charged extra for insurance but they are still demanding you quit smoking. So if you said yes and then quit because your job is now at risk, you still pay the extra. The extra is only 25 a check so many people just ate the cost thinking they would get off their asses about smoking, didn't happen. I think if the employee was already a smoker prior to employment, then charge them the extra and leave them the hell alone.
I do smoke, but totally understand the concept. It has nothing to do with keeping the employees healthy as they claim, it has everything to do with insurance costs. Im ok with that, smokers do cost more (but if they are going to do that, then they need to do it across the board with alcoholics and obese people as well!!!). And it does discourage the next generation to not even start and I think that is a great thing. BUT if they were already employed and smoke, leave them alone unless you are willing to help them quit rather then just threatening them.
*smoker trying to quit but NOT because my job says so. also trying to find a new job*
February 27, 2013 at 5:41 PM
My hospital in Texas is doing the same thing they just cant figure out how to enforce it just yet. But we have been told we will be fired for it.
More companies are doing this, even not offering a job if you smoke. There is a hospital in Florida I think that if you smoke they will fire you.