or tobacco for that matter, all under the guise of a healthier workplace environment. This policy is already in effect, and employees hired after July are required to be nicotine and tobacco free so long as they work for the city. That means if you're a vaper and enjoy your eLiquids, your odds for working for the city of Dayton just dropped to zero.
“Studies indicate that employees that smoke cost approximately an additional $6,000 per year in direct medical costs and lost productivity,” said Kenneth Couch, Dayton’s director of human resources, who probably spent more than $6,000 conducting that study. The city plans to test for nicotine and tobacco during the pre-employment screening process.
Union leaders say they understand that nicotine and tobacco use are responsible for a sizable share of the city’s health care costs and that the policy is aimed at creating a healthier workforce. However they also say they are worried that the new policy will hurt recruiting as it creates a potential slippery slope to intrusive workplace requirements by restricting certain lifestyle choices that are both lawful and do not affect work performance at all.
Rick Oakley, president of the Dayton Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 44 said that there was a survey of police and fire recruits when the policy was proposed, and it indicated that both departments would have lost about one-quarter of their effective employees. “We are not thrilled about it, but we also understand where the city is coming from because the biggest part of their health care costs are from nicotine-related illnesses,” Oakley said.
Any city of Dayton employees hired after July 15 will be prohibited from using nicotine or tobacco products at work, but what makes this so insane is that they are also not allowed to during their time off! How can you dictate what behavior your employees exhibit when you're not even paying them for their time to behave in such a way?
There is a grandfather clause for employees hired before July and they are not affected by the new policy, though the city is eliminating designated smoking areas entirely.
This policy sounds too discriminatory to last as it clearly targets a certain demographic that likely will also clearly affect hiring. Ann Sulfridge, president of AFSCME Local 101, which represents about 800 blue-collar and clerical city employees, said; “It narrows the pool of candidates you can draw from,” and “I would rather see more carrot and less stick.”
Sulfridge said she does not think employers should be able to dictate their workers’ lawful lifestyle decisions if they do not affect work performance or employees’ job abilities. Sulfridge said obesity is a health care concern, but she wouldn’t want employers to measure job candidates’ body mass indexes to decide whom to hire. Why the double standard?