bjorn14
Topic Author
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Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:44 pm

Does AS have a 'No Nicotine' policy for their employees and why? How do they enforce it? Do other airlines have this policy? Thanks for the input.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:59 pm

I don't believe they have this policy anymore. Twenty years ago they did but as they are no a publicly traded company, they are not allowed to. I may be wrong about them not having it today but I don't think it would be legal.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
ericm2031
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:06 pm

They do still have this rule for their own employees, not required for contractors working their flights.

I've been told it is for health insurance reasons but not sure if that's the reasoning the company uses or not.
 
as739x
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:20 am

Had it in '98 when I was hired. However, I knew many who still did smoke.

If I remember correctly, there were a few states that the rule could not be enforced. Nevada being one of them.
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
 
FlightShadow
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:34 am

Quoting ericm2031 (Reply 2):
I've been told it is for health insurance reasons but not sure if that's the reasoning the company uses or not.

This is most likely, and isn't uncommon. There are some insurance benefits to non-smoking policies.

Whether or not they are actually followed by the rank and file is another story.
"When the tide goes out, you can tell who was skinnydipping."
 
L-188
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:47 am

Quoting as739x (Reply 3):
Had it in '98 when I was hired.

In the summer of 94' too when I worked there. The exception where the people who where hired before the policy took effect

Quoting ericm2031 (Reply 2):
I've been told it is for health insurance reasons but not sure if that's the reasoning the company uses or not

Pretty much, lower rate.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
bjorn14
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:39 am

An FA candidate told me he would be DQ'ed if he even had 1 cigar because it would show up on a test up to 3 months later.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
strfyr51
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:21 pm

I've taken a LOT of random drug tests over the years. I know they check to THC in Refer But Tobacco? That's a new one,
 
sccutler
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:34 pm

Great idea, IMHO. Smokers (as a whole, there are of course exceptions) have more health issues, miss work more frequently, drive up the cost of health insurance. Reduced productivity, as well - "smoke breaks."
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
737tdi
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:36 am

Quoting sccutler (Reply 8):
Great idea, IMHO. Smokers (as a whole, there are of course exceptions) have more health issues, miss work more frequently, drive up the cost of health insurance. Reduced productivity, as well - "smoke breaks."

How far can a company go to manage your life? Eating red meat, drinking alcohol, being overweight, lack of exercise etc. etc. causes major health problems as well. Does a company have a right to require you to be a vegetarian, to not drink, to join a gym and make you weigh in? If your BMI is to high can they fire you. Just looking at the future here. IMO the companies control stops when you punch out, what you are doing outside of work is none of their business as long as it isn't illegal.
 
sccutler
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:59 pm

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 9):
How far can a company go to manage your life? Eating red meat, drinking alcohol, being overweight, lack of exercise etc. etc. causes major health problems as well. Does a company have a right to require you to be a vegetarian, to not drink, to join a gym and make you weigh in? If your BMI is to high can they fire you. Just looking at the future here. IMO the companies control stops when you punch out, what you are doing outside of work is none of their business as long as it isn't illegal.

I hear ya'; one can easily make the argument that an employer should never ask any question of anybody. But that argument is rarely made by anyone who has ever been in the position of actually having to hire, manage and expect productive work from hired people.

All of the things you cite in your first sentence are valid concerns, but none of them, standing alone (and, of course, excluding extreme instances), comes close to the deleterious health effects of tobacco use. Not even close.

One could draw the subtle (but important) distinction between causes and effects - smoking is elective behavior that makes one materially and demonstrably less healthy, more costly to employers in health care cost and much more likely to miss work. And, you're hired to work.

http://whyquit.com/whyquit/A_Benefits_Time_Table.html

http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/10/3/233.full

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1747999/
(This one's interesting, because it points out that, in the period immediately following quitting, former smokers actually miss more work than smokers, but later improve to better-than-smoker rates, which is not surprising in light of the addictive nature of tobacco use)

http://web.business.queensu.ca/facul...apters/Smoking%20and%20Absence.pdf
In conclusion, the available data support the conclusion that cigarette
smoking is associated with increased absenteeism from work. Smokers
reported approximately 48% more absenteeism from work than did nonsmokers.
Moreover, the magnitude of this effect was stable across countries.
In addition, some empirical data suggest that smoking cessation
may be associated with decreased absenteeism. Taken together these findings
suggest that there are significant organizational costs associated with
cigarette smoking and that organizations may be able to avoid these costs
by supporting smoking cessation and similar lifestyle programs.


http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/worklife/08/14/cb.smokers/

Lots more where that came from .

For me, the bottom-line is that, as an employer, if I can identify voluntary behavior which will cause a prospective employee to attend work less, get less done when in the workplace and draw a disproportionate amount of the limited resources in a company-paid health care system.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
sprout5199
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:23 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 10):

I was going to reply but I am on a smoke break.
 

Dan in Jupiter
 
jetblueguy22
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:20 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 8):
Great idea, IMHO. Smokers (as a whole, there are of course exceptions) have more health issues, miss work more frequently, drive up the cost of health insurance. Reduced productivity, as well - "smoke breaks."

If I'm a pilot that can hold a First Class Medical though wouldn't that say I'm healthy enough to where that wouldn't be a concern? I'm not saying smoking is healthy. But the occasional cigar on the golf course should not disqualify me, nor does it mean I am unable to do the job.
Pat
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
Maverick623
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:28 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 6):
An FA candidate told me he would be DQ'ed if he even had 1 cigar because it would show up on a test up to 3 months later.

Either he's lying or someone lied to him. The half-life of nicotine metabolites is about 20 hours. After a week it would be indistinguishable from second-hand smoke.

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 9):
IMO the companies control stops when you punch out, what you are doing outside of work is none of their business as long as it isn't illegal.

Well, it's certainly an opinion I can respect, but it's not reality. For example, if you were to come on here and post negative stuff about your company and they figured out who you were, you could be fired. It's happened before, and it's been held up as legal.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:16 pm

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 9):
IMO the companies control stops when you punch out, what you are doing outside of work is none of their business as long as it isn't illegal.

If you're attending neo-Nazi rallies in your spare time, I wouldn't blame your Jewish boss for getting rid of you.

There are things we can do outside of work which can lead to negative or unsafe work environments.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
kalvado
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:28 pm

I can see pro et contra of such control regarding nicotine use... But I really fear that one day I will wake up in a world where cocaine, nicotine and caffeine are all banned. How many of us would be in trouble once caffeine is a controlled substance?
 
sccutler
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:29 pm

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 12):

Quoting sccutler (Reply 8):
Great idea, IMHO. Smokers (as a whole, there are of course exceptions) have more health issues, miss work more frequently, drive up the cost of health insurance. Reduced productivity, as well - "smoke breaks."

If I'm a pilot that can hold a First Class Medical though wouldn't that say I'm healthy enough to where that wouldn't be a concern? I'm not saying smoking is healthy. But the occasional cigar on the golf course should not disqualify me, nor does it mean I am unable to do the job.
Pat

Yep. Can see both sides, here.

And, one can easily envision this sort of doctrine getting out of control, sort of a "Gattaca" syndrome, if you will.

I think the distinction will remain the difference between elective behavior (smoking) and any number of other, potentially-differing characteristics which are not a matter of choice.

The down-side for an employer with such a hard-line policy is, while they may exclude trouble-causing employees, they will in the process also be losing the opportunity to benefit from hiring good, hard-working and productive people who happen to use tobacco. My mom, as an example, was an exemplary employee, dedicated and committed in an absolutely unmatched way to the success of anyone who chose to hire her. Of course, she ultimately succumbed to COPD as a direct and proximate result of her heavy smoking.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
737tdi
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:41 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 14):
If you're attending neo-Nazi rallies in your spare time, I wouldn't blame your Jewish boss for getting rid of you.

There are things we can do outside of work which can lead to negative or unsafe work environments.

You are definitely responsible for things you post or say publically about your employer, that is called defamation. It has nothing to do with the topic discussed. Remember there are a lot of things excepted in the workplace that 30 years ago could have gotten you fired, I don't agree with that either. What you do in the privacy of your life is none of the companies business short of things illegal. No smoking on company property is any companies prerogative.
 
Maverick623
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:44 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 16):
The down-side for an employer with such a hard-line policy is, while they may exclude trouble-causing employees, they will in the process also be losing the opportunity to benefit from hiring good, hard-working and productive people who happen to use tobacco. My mom, as an example, was an exemplary employee, dedicated and committed in an absolutely unmatched way to the success of anyone who chose to hire her. Of course, she ultimately succumbed to COPD as a direct and proximate result of her heavy smoking.

While I applaud your mother's accomplishments, and regret to hear that she passed away from such a terrible thing, I can guarantee you that any successes she made for the company were far outweighed by the lost productivity from other, less capable people and the insurance costs associated with her and her colleague's tobacco use.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:32 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 6):
An FA candidate told me he would be DQ'ed if he even had 1 cigar because it would show up on a test up to 3 months later.

That's ridiculous. Nicotine doesn't have a half-life that long. Not even marijuana will show up in body fluids 3mo later. Nicotine itself has a half-life on the order of a few minutes and its metabolites have half-lives on the order of a day. In medicine, a drug is considered "cleared" after 4-6 half-lives.
-Doc Lightning-

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rwessel
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:19 am

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 17):
What you do in the privacy of your life is none of the companies business short of things illegal.

While I think many people would agree that things *should* be like that, it's unfortunately not. Plenty of companies drug test, and testing positive for marijuana use will still get you fired in many companies, even in states where marijuana use is legal. The insane thing is that these companies are giving a pass to the guy who downs a fifth of vodka every Friday night, while bringing the hammer down on a guy who smoked one joint on his two week vacation (because only the latter will show up on Monday morning's pee test).
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:07 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
That's ridiculous. Nicotine doesn't have a half-life that long. Not even marijuana will show up in body fluids 3mo later. Nicotine itself has a half-life on the order of a few minutes and its metabolites have half-lives on the order of a day. In medicine, a drug is considered "cleared" after 4-6 half-lives.

What about the hair test, going for traces of the drug in one's hair? I understand that these traces survive a longer (unless somebody cuts it off).

The Bavarian state police used to have a hard line against marijuana users. They didn't care about medical limits, but went for the analytical limits to determine if somebody had used marijuana, and because law didn't set a legal minimum concentration any trace was above the limit, e.g. declaring somebody to be an addict and therefore unfit to drive.

Jan
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737tdi
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:13 am

Quoting rwessel (Reply 20):
Quoting 737tdi (Reply 17):What you do in the privacy of your life is none of the companies business short of things illegal.
While I think many people would agree that things *should* be like that, it's unfortunately not. Plenty of companies drug test, and testing positive for marijuana use will still get you fired in many companies, even in states where marijuana use is legal.






See, that is where my disclaimer comes in, "short of things illegal". Say I lived in CO. or WA. it would still be illegal for me to smoke marijuana or any kind of illegal drug, not just due to company policy but due to Federal law. I am licensed by the FAA to perform maintenance on aircraft, this in turn falls under the D.O.T. which says that I am first and foremost subject to federal law. This is something that I have to accept if I want to exercise the rights of my license, and by the way alcohol is also controlled under the same law. I can be tested at any time for illicit drugs and alcohol. Also the blood alcohol limits are much more strict then if you are driving.
 
rwessel
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:59 am

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 22):
See, that is where my disclaimer comes in, "short of things illegal". Say I lived in CO. or WA. it would still be illegal for me to smoke marijuana or any kind of illegal drug, not just due to company policy but due to Federal law. I am licensed by the FAA to perform maintenance on aircraft, this in turn falls under the D.O.T. which says that I am first and foremost subject to federal law. This is something that I have to accept if I want to exercise the rights of my license, and by the way alcohol is also controlled under the same law. I can be tested at any time for illicit drugs and alcohol. Also the blood alcohol limits are much more strict then if you are driving.

The conflict between state and federal law does muck things up, and certainly when a federal regulation is involved there's no question, but what's the justification for Lowes (the home improvement store), drug testing cashiers in CO for THC metabolites? Sure, test for actual THC levels, I can perfectly understand Lowes not wanting someone stoned running a forklift, but...?
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:07 pm

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 17):
You are definitely responsible for things you post or say publically about your employer, that is called defamation.

I didn't say a single word about defamation.

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 17):
What you do in the privacy of your life is none of the companies business short of things illegal.

I'll pose the situation again:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 14):
If you're attending neo-Nazi rallies in your spare time, I wouldn't blame your Jewish boss for getting rid of you.

There are things we can do outside of work which can lead to negative or unsafe work environments.

There is nothing in there about defamation, nor anything about public statements about your employer. Just what you do in your spare time.

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 17):
Remember there are a lot of things excepted in the workplace that 30 years ago could have gotten you fired

Really? I'd turn that around - there are a lot of things accepted 30 years ago that would get you fired today.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 20):
Plenty of companies drug test, and testing positive for marijuana use will still get you fired in many companies, even in states where marijuana use is legal.

In aerospace at least, we tend to go by federal regulations.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
sccutler
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:59 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 18):
While I applaud your mother's accomplishments, and regret to hear that she passed away from such a terrible thing, I can guarantee you that any successes she made for the company were far outweighed by the lost productivity from other, less capable people and the insurance costs associated with her and her colleague's tobacco use.

You're almost certainly correct. C'est la vie!
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
stratosphere
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:36 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 13):
Either he's lying or someone lied to him. The half-life of nicotine metabolites is about 20 hours. After a week it would be indistinguishable from second-hand smoke.

It can show up in hair samples up to 3 months later and I believe they do take hair samples at least from prosepctive new hires anyway. My cousin is a captain there I need to ask him if they still do this.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:49 pm

Quoting md11engineer (Reply 21):

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
That's ridiculous. Nicotine doesn't have a half-life that long. Not even marijuana will show up in body fluids 3mo later. Nicotine itself has a half-life on the order of a few minutes and its metabolites have half-lives on the order of a day. In medicine, a drug is considered "cleared" after 4-6 half-lives.

What about the hair test, going for traces of the drug in one's hair? I understand that these traces survive a longer (unless somebody cuts it off).
Quoting stratosphere (Reply 26):

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 13):
Either he's lying or someone lied to him. The half-life of nicotine metabolites is about 20 hours. After a week it would be indistinguishable from second-hand smoke.

It can show up in hair samples up to 3 months later and I believe they do take hair samples at least from prosepctive new hires anyway. My cousin is a captain there I need to ask him if they still do this.

I don't know about nicotine but a whole bunch of illicit drugs will show up on the hair test if you did them in the last few months. AFAIK the cut off (heh) is around three months, or at least that's how much hair is taken. Candidate pilots at many airlines must take a mandatory hair test in addition to a urine test.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
JAGflyer
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:52 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 27):

What happens if the pilot has short hair or is bald? Do they take hair from other parts of the body (arms/legs/etc)?
If you flew today, thank a Flight Dispatcher!
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:21 am

Quoting Jagflyer (Reply 28):

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 27):

What happens if the pilot has short hair or is bald? Do they take hair from other parts of the body (arms/legs/etc)?

Yes. The form gives three options apart from head: leg, armpit or scrotum. If the sample is taken from one of those locations much more "hair area" typically needs to be taken compared to the head. From the heads it's just a long lock, but a bald guy might need half his lower leg shaved.

New strategy for candidates: Shave your entire body and see how the guys at medical react. 
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
737tdi
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:36 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 24):
Quoting 737tdi (Reply 17):You are definitely responsible for things you post or say publically about your employer, that is called defamation.
I didn't say a single word about defamation




No you did not, but that is why it would get you fired. Defamation is what would get you fired if you posted as you said. Come on man!!!! 2+2=4 I even quoted your own post. Why you get or don't get fired??? Look above.
 
737tdi
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:44 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 24):
Quoting 737tdi (Reply 17): Remember there are a lot of things excepted in the workplace that 30 years ago could have gotten you fired
Really? I'd turn that around - there are a lot of things accepted 30 years ago that would get you fired today.

Really, are you that naïve? If you were gay 50 years ago and came out, would you keep your job at my old Braniff? If you were a transsexual, would you keep your job 30 years ago?? If you were black in 1952 would you drink out o the same fountain as me? NO, NO, NO,. The answers to the questions are true. That is what I meant by the comment. Was it right, I will let you decide that for yourself, it is not my decision.
 
bjorn14
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:43 am

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 17):
What you do in the privacy of your life is none of the companies business short of things illegal

Well it already has started at some insurance companies who will not cover you if you are injured/dire in an 'extreme' sport i.e. mountain climbing, base jumping. whitewater kayaking, etc. I don't really see it as being a big step for employers to do the same.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 14):
There are things we can do outside of work which can lead to negative or unsafe work environments.

Lots of people have been fired for their outside activism because it reflects back on the company. The 1st Amendment protects you from the government not your employer.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:36 pm

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 30):
No you did not, but that is why it would get you fired. Defamation is what would get you fired if you posted as you said. Come on man!!!! 2+2=4 I even quoted your own post. Why you get or don't get fired??? Look above.

I don't really know what else to say. Like I said, activities outside of work can lead to unsafe or negative work environments. Activities that have nothing to do with defamation.

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 31):
Really, are you that naïve? If you were gay 50 years ago and came out, would you keep your job at my old Braniff? If you were a transsexual, would you keep your job 30 years ago?? If you were black in 1952 would you drink out o the same fountain as me? NO, NO, NO,. The answers to the questions are true. That is what I meant by the comment. Was it right, I will let you decide that for yourself, it is not my decision.

OK, fair point. And what I meant was that behavior-wise, there's a lot that may have been tolerated 30 years ago that isn't today.

Anyway....what's with the condescension? I haven't insulted you or anything you've said - it's a discussion. Maybe I am naive, and maybe I am bad at math. Doesn't change what I was saying.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
737tdi
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:43 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 33):
Anyway....what's with the condescension? I haven't insulted you or anything you've said - it's a discussion. Maybe I am naive, and maybe I am bad at math. Doesn't change what I was saying.

I apologize if I was condescending, I did not mean to be. I just do not like the way attitudes towards work rules are continuing in the same vain as they did decades ago. Basically, it doesn't effect me so I will just stay quiet attitude. Just wrong. The things I mentioned above were wrong years ago and they are wrong now. Same with the original topic, I just don't think a company should have any power over your private life as long as it does not break the law. Again, no disrespect intended.
 
57AZ
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:10 pm

No smoking/nicotine policies are also appearing in government agencies as well. Here in Southern Arizona, Pima County will soon implement a new policy that they will not hire smokers. Applicants who are smokers will automatically be disqualified from consideration for employment and if they do decide to reapply later on, will be required to certify that they have been smoke/nicotine free for a period of 12 months preceding their application. Simillarly, current employees have the option of participating in smoking cessation programs or being essentially deinsured as the county's insurance policy will no longer cover smoking/nicotine related illnesses or conditions.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:55 am

Quoting md11engineer (Reply 21):
What about the hair test, going for traces of the drug in one's hair? I understand that these traces survive a longer (unless somebody cuts it off).

The trouble with hair analysis is that hair is easily contaminated with ambient smoke.

And had you tried hair analysis on me when I was in my 20s, you'd have had a difficult time. It was never more than 1cm long.

I think that AS would have difficulty using hair analysis for nicotine testing on a legal level, anyway.

[Edited 2015-01-07 21:02:36]
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Starlionblue
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RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:54 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 36):
Quoting md11engineer (Reply 21):
What about the hair test, going for traces of the drug in one's hair? I understand that these traces survive a longer (unless somebody cuts it off).

The trouble with hair analysis is that hair is easily contaminated with ambient smoke.

And had you tried hair analysis on me when I was in my 20s, you'd have had a difficult time. It was never more than 1cm long.

I think that AS would have difficulty using hair analysis for nicotine testing on a legal level, anyway.

Are you sure you didn't have hair somewhere on your body that was more than 1cm long, Doc! 

The "drugs detected" list on the form I saw is about 15-16 items long, half of which I would have no idea how to pronounce. However IIRC it does not include nicotine.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
doug_or
Posts: 3238
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 9:55 am

RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:48 pm

Alaska tests new hire pilots for nicotine. After that I do not believe there is any follow up testing. Admitting to having used any nicotine products in the previous 6 months will get your application rejected. I have no idea if other workgroups are different.

Quoting IMissPiedmont (Reply 1):
I may be wrong about them not having it today but I don't think it would be legal.

Smokers are not a protected class.
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:08 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 29):

New strategy for candidates: Shave your entire body and see how the guys at medical react.

Claim that you are an Olympic swimmer or cyclist for credibility.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
737tdi
Posts: 1116
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:05 am

RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:03 am

Quoting doug_Or (Reply 38):
Smokers are not a protected class.

Well, I think they should test for alcohol and question for alcohol. It does as much damage as tobacco. You guys speak of this like it is normal. It pisses me off. Test me for meat fat?? Test me for diabetes?? Test me for ???.. This is bull and I bet could be overturned in court. It is discrimination over a legal (federally and state and local activity). The problem would be proving that the reason you were not hired was due to tobacco use. Once you were an employee and they fired you due to it, you have a good case of discrimination. It is not illegal, it is not anymore of a hazard then dinol, clorothene, paint, grease, hydraulic fluid. It is ridiculous when it comes to mechanics. We breathe every chemical in the world.
 
sccutler
Posts: 5838
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:16 pm

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 40):
Well, I think they should test for alcohol and question for alcohol.

Generally speaking, they do - alcohol use on the job is a safety hazard.

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 40):
It does as much damage as tobacco.

Could do more, depending upon whether it is abused. Again, most employers with employees in positions of any kind of responsibility include testing for alcohol use in their employment requirements, and in many safety-related areas of employ, there are laws which mandate alcohol and drug screening.

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 40):
This is bull and I bet could be overturned in court

Not a chance; completely legal.

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 40):
It is discrimination over a legal (federally and state and local activity).

Of course it is - "discrimination" is the exercise of judgment, favoring one outcome over another. If we don't discriminate, we (by definition) make no decisions. Employers have the right, and the responsibility, to responsibly discriminate in the exercise of the management of their businesses. There are certain forms of discrimination which have been deemed to be unlawful (race, gender, disability which does not materially affect the job function, things like that).

The fact that an activity is not illegal does not (nor should it) mean that the activity cannot be cited as a basis for adverse employment consequences (as many in Colorado are discovering, to their dismay, in reference to cannabius use).
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
User avatar
LAXintl
Posts: 24057
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:03 pm

I'll chime in with a few observations from my wife who is the head of HR at a hospitality group.

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 40):
This is bull and I bet could be overturned in court. It is discrimination over a legal (federally and state and local activity).

Actually its not.
Federal courts have reaffirmed that existing federal laws allow nicotine-free hiring because they don't recognize smokers as a protected class.

There is only a single state - South Carolina that prohibits nicotine or tobacco testing, while 29 states afford some protections and a process to protect employees from adverse actions due to activities outside of work which may or may not be applicable to smoking.

Overall its been well accepted that companies have rights and strong incentives to have and foster a healthy workplace and healthy work force.

Its also been well proven in study after another (apparently there was a huge one in 2001) that smokers create added burdens on companies and society from reduced productivity, higher absenteeism, higher healthcare cost, etc.

As of 2012, it was estimated 4% of US companies have such smoke-free hiring policies.

Its also interesting to note, that firms pursue different policies as well such as implementing a surcharge on smokers and charging them higher contributions towards their health care cost. In 2011 there was a federal court case that originated from Texas that challenged this practice. The employer won. In that case the smokers insurance bill averaged $625 higher than the non-smoker, so it was found fair the employee had to contribute $25 additional per pay period towards their insurance.

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 40):
Test me for meat fat?? Test me for diabetes?? Test me for ???.

Yes companies can test for other things as well, and again fostering broader wellness among employees in general is not discriminatory or thread on protected class laws.

More and more companies pursue varies fitness and health options.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
737tdi
Posts: 1116
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:05 am

RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:03 am

Quoting sccutler (Reply 41):
Generally speaking, they do - alcohol use on the job is a safety hazard.

Please read my other posts on this subject above. I am a tested employee and do understand the rules.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 42):
Actually its not.
Federal courts have reaffirmed that existing federal laws allow nicotine-free hiring because they don't recognize smokers as a protected class.

But should it be? Maybe the laws need to be addressed. Just because it is now doesn't mean it is right. I beg to ask, how old are most of the people responding on this thread. It truly seems to me that a lot here seem to think that if it is the law that it has no solution. Laws can be changed. With new medical breakthroughs companies could deny you employment due to genetic anomalies. Is that legal? As it stands right now yes it is. You have Lupus, MS, HIV, can you be denied? Nope. See the conundrum? Tobacco v debilitating diseases, all will kill you over time but tobacco is singled out. How is that right? Voluntary? So is heart disease, quit eating meat, quit drinking sodas, quit eating salt, quit, quit, quit. I don't want to live forever, the courts will never ever have a say over my life. You young guys may want to give up your rights but I never will. I fought for this country and I fought for freedom and that includes the ability to work and live my life the way I want. Nothing illegal just to work.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:58 pm

Quoting md11engineer (Reply 39):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 29):
New strategy for candidates: Shave your entire body and see how the guys at medical react.
Claim that you are an Olympic swimmer or cyclist for credibility.

Off the subject, but I knew a guy on the high school swim team that did that, but left a "racing stripe" down the front
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Maverick623
Posts: 4717
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:13 am

RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:05 pm

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 43):
Tobacco v debilitating diseases, all will kill you over time but tobacco is singled out.

Gee, I wonder why.

Could it be that using tobacco is a completely voluntary activity?

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 43):
So is heart disease, quit eating meat, quit drinking sodas, quit eating salt, quit, quit, quit.

Hyperbole.

Meat, sugar, salts; these are necessary in moderate quantities to sustain life. No real doctor would ever tell someone to "quit eating anything with salt" or that if they drink another soda they will die.

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 43):
I fought for this country and I fought for freedom and that includes the ability to work and live my life the way I want. Nothing illegal just to work.

Hard to work when you're constantly taking smoke breaks, or can't come to work because it takes you longer to recover from a respiratory infection, or because you're dead.

And what about the freedom of the employer to decide what controllable qualities he wants in a worker?
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
737tdi
Posts: 1116
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:05 am

RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:20 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 45):
Meat, sugar, salts; these are necessary in moderate quantities to sustain life.

I don't disagree but the key here is "in moderate quantities". If a person is overweight are they really being moderate? Eating 73% ground beef hamburgers is not being moderate and is completely voluntary. Insurance costs have been mentioned, I can think of a lot of surgeries at my place of work for gastric bypass surgery, knee surgery, back surgery etc. and most are folks who are overweight. I think we will see a future that will be wrought with control over what you eat and drink. It has already been attempted and is still being attempted in various cities by the govt. and by business. I hope I am old enough to not have to see everyone eating rice cakes & kale (exaggeration). You will never convince me that it is the government's or employer's right to control life in this manner. If it is accepted that it is I surely feel sorry for my grandkids.
 
CPDC10-30
Posts: 4688
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 4:30 pm

RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:42 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 42):
In that case the smokers insurance bill averaged $625 higher than the non-smoker, so it was found fair the employee had to contribute $25 additional per pay period towards their insurance.

The problem isn't so much with how this relates to tobacco use - I would be more concerned about the slippery slope that this type of reasoning creates. Especially when we're talking about disqualifying someone for something completely within the law. What's stopping Abercrombie and Fitch from developing a "donut test" and disqualifying anyone who has ever eaten a donut from working in their stores?

What if you have a genetic predisposition to a serious disorder, which may or may not affect you? Your risk is therefore higher than an "average" person, and therefore you should be charged more? What is the whole point of insurance then? I thought the main point was to create a large enough risk pool so that individual cases aren't significant to the overall scheme.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:45 pm

Non-smoker and almost teetotaller here
I'm glad that my health insurance goes through the state and not through my company.
While I might be disadvantaged by paying for the increased costs for smokers, they also carry the increased risk I have e.g. through scuba diving.

What about risky sports? Will the companies ban them for their employees as well because of costs?

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
User avatar
LAXintl
Posts: 24057
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Alaska's No Nicotine Employee Policy

Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:09 am

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 47):
What is the whole point of insurance then? I thought the main point was to create a large enough risk pool so that individual cases aren't significant to the overall scheme.

Insurance does not treat everyone the same, if they did it would be significantly more expense for the majority. Insurance takes many factors into account to measure risk and then is able to mitigate accordingly. Those deemed based on established factors whether car insurance, life insurance or basic health insurance are charged accordingly be it a discount for lower risk, or premium for higher risk.

Quoting md11engineer (Reply 48):
What about risky sports? Will the companies ban them for their employees as well because of costs?

Yes they can and do particularly for executives.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California

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