Saturday, April 2, 2005

Never off the Clock?

Work is work and home is home (unless you work from home...), right? There are some employers that are regulating - at least tobacco use - quite closely. Here is an article with some highlights of what has been going on. It should be available for the next 14 days.

Is anyone else troubled by this trendzoid? A commissioner in Montgomery Co., PA wants to propose that the county create a policy of not hiring smokers. Weyco, Inc. (mentioned in the article referenced above) actually demands that employees not use tobacco even when not at work, going so far as to require random tests. A Michigan State Senator is drafting legislation to make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of a worker's LEGAL activities outside the workplace (unless it would infringe on his or her ability to do the job or if there's a conflict of interest with the organization). My state, NJ (one of 29) does have such a law.

I'm not a smoker; I've been known to tell folks that "It's not good for you". I would advocate that anyone who can quit this habit certainly should. However, I find these stories very troubling. Employers already have so much control over our lives, to have them exert more control over our private lives is a clear erosion of our personal freedoms. As Al Lewis suggests in the article, we don't know what they might start regulating next.

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