I didn’t say ‘smokers’, and neither did they. They will not hire anyone who uses patches, gum, Electrofag or anything else containing nicotine and they will drug-test anyone who applies.
In a wonderfully insane form of logic, they will offer anyone who tests positive for nicotine a 90-day course of (ahem) patches and/or gum and test them again at the end of 90 days. At which point, if they have followed the hospital’s instruction and kept on the course, they are certain to test positive again.
Presumably tomatoes are off the menu in that hospital?
Current hospital employees have been eligible for the free smoking cessation products for the past two years, according to Simmons, with voluntary nicotine testing.
Why would anyone want to volunteer for a nicotine test? I wouldn’t. I smoke, so I’m not going to volunteer for a test where I can predict the result. Why would a non-smoker volunteer? If they love their potato salad with tomato and eggplant, they’ll fail too. I suppose that result would ‘prove passive smoking’ though.
Naturally, as with all the measures imposed by the Righteous, it didn’t stay voluntary for long.
“Last year, we made the nicotine testing mandatory if you had our insurance. If you tested positive, we again offered cessation products,” she said. “This year, if you decided you didn’t want to quit, then a smoking surcharge was added biweekly for any associate covered under our insurance.”
Oh but she insists it’s not punitive. She really wants to help people.
Even if perfectly legal, the hospital’s goal of controlling the behavior of employees at home and outside the workplace is troubling to some, including Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild, R-District 4. While he acknowledges the right of the hospital to ban nicotine use on its own property, he bristles at the notion of a company controlling the behavior of individuals once they leave the hospital campus.
“This breaches a firewall that is very dangerous. If we can prevent people from working because they smoke, there is nothing to stop them from preventing them from working because they are obese or because they drink alcohol,” Rothschild said. “Where do you draw the line?”
There is no line. There is no end to it. The head of a hospital believes that nicotine is a carcinogen and these are the people who are looking after your health. Soon you will have to provide a blood sample every time you arrive for work and it will be tested for every non-approved thing they can think of. Fail on one of them and it’s instant dismissal. Even if it’s something they added that very morning and you don’t know it’s banned yet.
The only real weapon left is the vote. These people are not interested in discussion or logic or reason. You can throw as much of that at them as you like, it all just bounces off. Vote out the current politicians, vote in a new party. Any party, doesn’t matter which. They don’t even have to win – just get far enough to put the shits up our current lot.
The only thing our politicians will listen to is the threat of losing their gravy train. Threaten them with it. Then they might – just might – get the message, and shut down the idiot brigade they have allowed to run the show for too long. If they don’t, well, keep hammering away at every election until they either get the message or get their P45s.
In the meantime, Carroll County is a place best avoided. If you get sick there, the hospital is run by idiots.