February 18, 2005

Not Exactly the Road to Serfdom

From Brother's Judd read the linked article in the San Frnscisco Chronicle about employees being fired because they smoked at home:

HOW DOES freedom slip away? It doesn't happen one day, all of a sudden, without warning. It erodes in stages. One day you read that an employer has fired four employees because they refused to follow the company's no smoking policy -- including not smoking in their own homes on their own time -- and that's OK, because you don't smoke. A year or two later, employers go after your pet vice -- eating, tippling, maybe snowboarding -- and then such a policy is an outrage.

So Americans should be wary of the news last month that a Michigan health- benefits administrator, Weyco Inc., sacked four employees because they wouldn't follow a company policy that required all employees to "maintain a smoke-free and tobacco-free status at all times."

That's right. They can't smoke at home. They can't smoke on their own time. To work for Weyco Inc. is to be owned by Weyco Inc. And the Weyco way may well be legal

Here's Bro Judds takeaway comment
The notion that your employer need not just stand by while you kill yourself but also pick up the tab bastardizes the concept of freedom beyond recognition. You're free to smoke or to work for Weyco. It's your choice