Friday, January 27, 2012

New policy: Hospital turns smoking job applicants away

Hospital will screen job seekers for signs
of smoking, even second-hand smoke.
A Pennsylvania hospital is planning to implement a no-nicotine policy on Feb. 1, which involves testing job applicants for signs of nicotine and turning them away if they are smokers.

The applicants will receive some help to quit the habit and they can re-apply after six months, hospital officials said.

The hospital already has a smoke-free policy in place on the facility’s grounds, and the new guidelines are aimed at increasing the number of staff members that do not smoke.

The hospital’s measures may seem a bit extreme to some, but the facility is within its rights to implement such as policy – and other employers may follow.

The United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics says 19 states allow employers to screen job applicants for signs of smoking. Pennsylvania is one of those states.

Existing employees won’t be affected by the new policy.

Hospital administrators point out that workers who smoke take more breaks and reduce their working hours. They may also increase health care costs over the long run.

A clinic in Ohio implemented a similar program in 2007.

Source: CNN


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