If you smoke, it will reduce your chances to find a job with a health-insurance agency Humana in Arizona.
The health insurer declared that it won’t hire workers in Arizona who smoke or consume other tobacco products. In order to implement the tobacco ban, Humana will test potential workers for nicotine use within a pre-employment urine drug screen.
Humana representative stated that it makes sense for an enterprise in the health-care field to follow the example. The consequences of smoking are well-known, and Humana plans to promote health starting with its workers.
“Humana wants to help our workers to start thinking about their own health,” stated Dr. Charles Cox, Humana vice president.
Humana is one of those employers from the health care, hoping to prohibit smoking among new hires. For instance the Cleveland Clinic stopped employing smokers in 2007, and hospitals in some states have stopped hiring tobacco-using workers.
Legal counsels declare that nothing under the state law bans employers from not hiring smokers.
“Being a smoker is not a category that is protected under the law,” stated Lisa Coulter, an attorney in Phoenix.
Coulter said that at present more and more employers are trying to control employees’ behavior outside the workplace. For instance some employers prohibit their employees to post any information about themselves on such social-media websites as Facebook and Twitter.
Some employers even offer rewards or introduce penalties in order to reduce health-care costs by requiring behavioral changes.
Employees from Arizona, currently complained about a new health plan that demanded them submit saliva samples in order to test for nicotine. The workers declared that such kind of testing is a real violation of privacy. Those employees who agreed to make the test and didn’t have tobacco in their blood qualify for insurance bonuses that are $480 less than what smokers and those who refused to make the test should pay.
Some Arizona employers have encouraged workers to stop smoking through policies; Companies often prohibit smoking at work and propose discounted health insurance for workers who agree to quit smoking.
Humana adopted a tobacco ban for it workers in Ohio two years ago. The Ohio program didn’t test for nicotine content among potential workers like the Arizona program will, but the company stated that these actions have worked. 78% of Humana’s workers in Ohio declared to be non-smokers.
Humana’s ban for potential workers will cover all tobacco products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco and cigars. These workers should agree to hold back from smoking while being employed by the company.