Some companies say they won't hire smokers - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Some companies say they won't hire smokers

An smoker holds a cigarette. (File/FOX Carolina) An smoker holds a cigarette. (File/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Smokers may soon have a harder time finding jobs. It will soon become a reality for a Tennessee-based hospital system.

This week, Mountain States Health Alliance announced that come March 1, it won't hire anyone who tests positive for nicotine during the hiring process.

The hospital system said it won't fire employees they already have who smoke. Leaders said not hiring new smokers, is all a part of their initiative for healthy living. Some experts believe it's all about the money.

Forbes Magazine said that if a company doesn't hire smokers, they could save $11,000 a year per employee.

Some folks in Greenville see that point; others don't like what they call "discrimination."

Francesca Schmidt is a smoker and thinks not hiring smokers isn't fair. She said personal choices that don't directly affect work performance shouldn't be considered.

"If we're good workers then we're good workers, and if we're not good workers than we're not," Schmidt said.

But Greenville recruiter and president of Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing Julie Godshall Brown said some companies may see smoking as a work performance indicator.

She's seen a trend in companies wanting their employees to be healthy for many reasons, including high insurance costs when they're not and wanting lower absenteeism and higher productivity. Brown said a hiring policy that eliminates smokers from the pool of candidates is bold, but not a shock.

"I think there probably has been some bias for a long time for those who have unhealthy lifestyles, whether or not it's a smoker or other unhealthy habits," Brown said.

She said her recruiters tell candidates for jobs to make sure they clean up and look professional for interviews, as well as trying not to smell like smoke "because as soon as they walk in, that smell, just like cologne might be to some people, it certainly can be offensive."

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said not hiring smokers would not be considered discrimination according to the Americans with Disabilities Act because smoking is a choice and not a disability.

The American Lung Association does say that 29 states, including South and North Carolina, have protections for smokers.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • GRAPHIC: Buncombe Co. man admits to killing, dismembering pregnant TV chef, husband

    GRAPHIC: Buncombe Co. man admits to killing, dismembering pregnant TV chef, husband

    Thursday, April 27 2017 5:18 AM EDT2017-04-27 09:18:54 GMT
    Thursday, April 27 2017 7:27 PM EDT2017-04-27 23:27:02 GMT
    Robert Jason Owens' 2015 mug shot (Source: BCSO)Robert Jason Owens' 2015 mug shot (Source: BCSO)

    The Buncombe County man charged with murder in the deaths of a TV chef, her husband, and unborn child pleaded guilty to killing the victims and dismembering their bodies during a hearing Thursday and was sentenced to prison.

    More >>

    The Buncombe County man charged with murder in the deaths of a TV chef, her husband, and unborn child pleaded guilty to killing the victims and dismembering their bodies during a hearing Thursday and was sentenced to prison.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly