regardless if they smoke it, vape it, chew it, patch it, or whatever way you consume it. Cigarettes, patches, lozenges, gums, eLiquids, it really doesn't matter come February the Phoenix-based moving company, U-Haul, won't interview or hire nicotine users. The change starts February 1st in 21 states, applicants must pledge they do not use nicotine, agree to random tests, and does not retroactively apply.
"We're hoping to build a workforce that's free from nicotine addiction as a whole" said U-Haul Chief of Staff Jessica Lopez who brilliantly discovered you can legally discriminate among the lowest paid laborers by nitpicking their life choices and virtue signal at the same time. In Arizona it is legal not to hire people who use nicotine and employers have the right to test for nicotine.
Apparently this move is a part of U-Haul's wellness program, which started a little over four years ago. It has been specifically acknowledged by the state of Arizona for its health and wellness initiatives. U-Haul broke ground in 2019 on a brand new conference and fitness center on its midtown campus and plans to open the center in December 2020.
There are two sides to this coin; one is that it is their business and their right to make such discrimination as is the law of the land in Arizona. On the other it's hard enough as is to be a smoker or vaper these days. No company should be encouraging any stigma, even from just an optics standpoint. What's even more counterproductive about this policy appears is that it conflates all forms of nicotine use.
According to the not so reliable but yet the only source I could muster; the CDC says in 2017 nearly 15 percent of Arizonans smoked cigarettes and nearly five percent were vapers.
Since there's no way to distinguish nicotine source, this policy would reject non-smokers who use nicotine replacement options to remain free of other more deadly tobacco products.
It won't be long before someone realizes U-Hauls employees are statistically more likely to be smokers due to the low wages they offer, coupled with the areas U-Haul tends to offer their services argues that this policy results in racial discrimination all tied up with a big fat lawsuit.
What do you think about this upcoming policy for the move it yourself company? Will this be a sign of things to come from other employers or is U-Haul just overstepping with it's virtue signaling? Will this create enough buzz to make them rethink their policy?