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County: Smokers Need Not Apply
Blaming the cost of buying health insurance for smokers, officials in the Florida county recently announced that they will no longer hire employees who light up. Officials say it costs them $3,400 per year per smoker in lost productivity and medical expenses and they want to save taxpayers that money.
Although this policy has some people crying “discrimination,” in Florida, the right not to hire employees who smoke was upheld nearly a decade ago by the state Supreme Court. So the county is utterly within its rights.
In fact, more than 6,000 businesses nationwide have policies against hiring smokers and the number keeps going up. Companies not only want to save healthcare costs, but they just want an overall healthier work force.
I don’t smoke and never have. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to try to stop once you are addicted. But who can blame these companies for wanting to avoid hiring smokers. Making money is what business is all about and, if not hiring smokers helps them save money, they’re making a smart business decision.
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