Re: No Smokers Wanted in Houston (was: Tech Writers Wanted...)

Subject: Re: No Smokers Wanted in Houston (was: Tech Writers Wanted...)
From: Sella Rush <SellaR -at- APPTECHSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 1997 16:19:24 -0800

Stephen wrote:
>While I'm not a fan of smoking (though I do it myself), I wonder what's
>next? "Must be past child-bearing years."? "Must not be a diabetic or
>pre-diabetic."? "Must submit to regular HIV-tests"? (Yes, I know, some
>of these are clearly illegal....)

>When does an employer have a right to determine what you do in your
>private life? At what point do your personal choices affect his/her
>ability to run a business?

Wayne use of the phrase "protected class" is crucial here. Women are a
"protected" class precisely in response to employers' arguments that
they didn't want to hire women because they'd just go off to get married
and/or have kids (also all that time off for "womens' problems!).

As far as I know, people with medical problems cannot be overtly
discriminated against, but they can be passed over if their ailments
will directly inhibit their ability to do the job they're being hired
for. This policy has seen abuse in both directions--lots of people get
passed over for other technical reasons but really because of illness or
disability, while I personally have met several people who were hired in
spite of being unable to perform the job they're being hired for (I
guess they know how to work the system).

The whole insurance rate issue is becoming a big factor now, partly, I
think, because it plays into what employers want. They want healthy
people who can work at optimum performance, and now they can justify
certain less than ethical stances because they can pass the buck to the
insurance companies. But only so long as no protected classes are
involved.

Personally, this whole attitude of trying to dictate an employee's
personal life feels like a shortcut. Instead of firing those
*individuals* who are not getting the job done, they improve their
chances of getting the employees they want by restricting the pool of
people to choose from. It probably also has a lot to do with the fact
that it can be so much harder to fire someone without legal action and
also much harder to determine what kind of employee someone will be
before hiring them.

I could say a whole lot more on this subject, but my boss is coming....
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Sella Rush
Applied Technical Systems, Inc. (ATS)
Bremerton, Washington USA
Developers of the CCM Database

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