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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Default 39 Whirlpool workers suspended over smoking lies

    39 Whirlpool workers suspended over smoking lies

    INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (AP) -- Smoking can be hazardous to your health, and it's turning into a bad career move, too.


    Some Whirlpool Corp. workers may be fired after they were seen smoking on company property.

    A Whirlpool Corp. factory in Evansville, Indiana, has suspended 39 workers who signed insurance paperwork claiming they don't use tobacco and then were seen smoking or chewing tobacco on company property. Now, some could be fired for lying, company spokeswoman Debby Castrale said.

    As annual health care premiums rise more than 10 percent a year, many companies are trying to rein in costs by encouraging healthy living.

    "I can't think of a client of ours who has not shifted their focus to controlling the cost of their health care plan," said Indianapolis, Indiana, benefits lawyer Mike Paton.

    Some employers have developed wellness programs to motivate employees, while others ask employees to state on benefits forms whether they use tobacco.

    Whirlpool, based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, uses financial incentives to encourage U.S. workers and their dependents to abstain from tobacco use, spokeswoman Jill Saletta said. The specifics vary according to location.

    In Evansville, the 1,500-employee factory charges tobacco users an extra $500 in annual health insurance premiums. The refrigerator factory has levied the extra premium since 1996, and it depends on employees to honestly fill out forms. It doesn't mandate blood tests to detect nicotine or trail employees outside work, Castrale said.

    Management suspended the 39 employees Friday after they were spotted using either chewing tobacco on company property or taking a drag in one of the factory's dozen shelters for outdoor smoking, Castrale said.

    "It's definitely not something we wanted to do," she said. "It's unpleasant."

    The employees were suspended without pay, and they'll present their case at "fact-finding" meetings before management determines their fate. Whirlpool had to recall some laid-off workers to keep production running due to the suspensions.

    A 2007 national survey showed that 16 percent of all large employers -- those with 20,000 or more employees -- adjust health care premium contributions according to the worker's smoking status, according to the human resources consulting firm Mercer.

    The federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act limits the changes an employer can make to a health premium because of a worker's unhealthy habits. But it doesn't set parameters on punishment if an employee lies about his or her habit, Paton said.

    Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute, which advocates for employee privacy, sees no problem with employers trying to curb smoking. But he worries that the trend of cracking down on employees' unhealthy behavior is extending beyond tobacco use.

    "We shouldn't have to give employers complete control over our private life so they can save a few dollars on medical care," he said.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  2. #2
    Good Enough pal1800's Avatar
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    More often than not, lying is a bad idea.

  3. #3
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    Good, I hope they get fired. Fuck 'em. I live about an hour north of Evansville. Cigarrette smokers really piss me off. It was good that someone pointed out that they are part of the reason healthcare sucks. Every smoker on earth should be lined up and shot right in the fucking head. They are the reason I don't go inside to pay for gas. Them and those damn lottery ticket losers holding up the line. They complain about gas prices but for some reason have money hidden for their worthless habit.





    My rant for the day. I'm sure I pissed someone off. They'll need a smoke.

  4. #4
    Good Enough pal1800's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatthehell? View Post
    Good, I hope they get fired. Fuck 'em. I live about an hour north of Evansville. Cigarrette smokers really piss me off. It was good that someone pointed out that they are part of the reason healthcare sucks. Every smoker on earth should be lined up and shot right in the fucking head. They are the reason I don't go inside to pay for gas. Them and those damn lottery ticket losers holding up the line. They complain about gas prices but for some reason have money hidden for their worthless habit.





    My rant for the day. I'm sure I pissed someone off. They'll need a smoke.
    I enjoyed the rant! Thats great, standing in line complaining about gas prices and getting lotto tics and cigs when they check out!!!! Brilliant!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatthehell? View Post
    Good, I hope they get fired. Fuck 'em. I live about an hour north of Evansville. Cigarrette smokers really piss me off. It was good that someone pointed out that they are part of the reason healthcare sucks. Every smoker on earth should be lined up and shot right in the fucking head. They are the reason I don't go inside to pay for gas. Them and those damn lottery ticket losers holding up the line. They complain about gas prices but for some reason have money hidden for their worthless habit.





    My rant for the day. I'm sure I pissed someone off. They'll need a smoke.
    Kill em all, eh? Yeah, that'll solve everything.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by looper_guy View Post
    Kill em all, eh? Yeah, that'll solve everything.
    A rant amigo, a rant. And why not kill 'em all? Know what their excuse is for smoking? "Well, gotta die sometime!"

    And fuck up everyone else around, too! They are assholes. So yes, maybe it would solve the problem. Would a whole new set start lighting up? Kill them too! Population control. So hey, gas prices may start to drop! Again, maybe it would solve everything! Think you for making my point for me all over again!

 

 

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