Employers Get Tough on Health

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Kayli Tipps

Employers Get Tough on Health

The article entitled “Employers Get Tough on Health” is printed by the Chicago Tribune September 24, 2007 and it addresses how some companies in America are now choosing whether you get hired or keep your job based on your personal behavior and lifestyle habits such as smoking or eating high fat meals. In the reading the Article states “the rules of the work place are changing” and you should be informed of those changes so you can be a likely candidate to get hired if applying for a new job at these companies. I will tell you how they are testing to see if you make “bad” lifestyle choices and also how it may affect whether you qualify for health insurance or your job at these companies.

The company known as Weyco Inc. in Michigan is who the article is about. This Company drew national attention in 2005 when it fired four employees who used tobacco. Weyco performs random testing every three months, usually of about 30 workers. The workers are supposed to breath into a breathalyzer-like device that measures carbon-monoxide levels. So if the level is high then they are given a urine test and if they fail they will be dismissed. This is a scary idea to those who might smoke. Also I need to mention that you should say goodbye to the days of high-fat meals because Weyco can also regulate your blood pressure, body mass and glucose levels. The requirements embraced by a growing number of companies are setting privacy aside and raising questions about who will qualify for health insurance and more importantly employment.

Like some of the employees you may be wondering if these new rules are illegal. According to Gary Climes, vice president of Meritain Health Michigan, who owns Weyco, stated that the firings do not violate Michigan law and that the 150 employees at the company have accepted the rules. “It really comes down to a personal choice as far as do you want to be employed here,” Climes said. Since 2005 when...
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