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Should employers be able to factor in health concerns?


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#46 pantherfan49

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:01 PM

Positive rights don't exist. You can't be naturally obligated to something that someone else has to provide you.


not what the 99% says

#47 Iceberg Slim

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:08 PM

not what the 99% says


wait...oh I see what you did there

#48 logic1977

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:13 PM

We actually debated this very same issue in an ethics course when i was finishing my MBA.

I think there are completely different answers based on whether you are talking about say an employer charging a higher health insurance premium versus banning smoking at the job , or telling people how to operate in their personal lives.

one thing is it is absolutely NOT discrimination as a smoker or being obese isn't a protected class.

I have no issues with charging people higher health insurance premiums, I also have no issues with companies that ban smoking on their premises. I'd do the same if it were my company.

Where I draw the line though is telling people how they should live in the comfort of their own home. If someone smokes at home, how does that any of their employers business?

In the case we examined in my ethics class, the company involved started out by charging smokers a higher health insurance premium, they then said you have to quit smoking, and from there they also said that neither you or your spouse can smoke if you want to stay employed. Once items like this get allowed, where does it stop?

In my opinion, it is unethical or just morally wrong to tell people how to live their personal lives. To my it is a violation of a person's civil rights. It impinges on a person's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If they can ban smoking and require people to maintain a "healthy" weight (assuming it is unrelated to job function) lets keep going. Now the new rule is if you are a member of caronlinahuddle.com, you can't work here

Granted you always have a choice to work someplace else, but the same argument was used against people of color originally, or holding women back from having certain positions etc... I don't see this as any different

#49 King

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:20 PM

We actually debated this very same issue in an ethics course when i was finishing my MBA.

I think there are completely different answers based on whether you are talking about say an employer charging a higher health insurance premium versus banning smoking at the job , or telling people how to operate in their personal lives.

one thing is it is absolutely NOT discrimination as a smoker or being obese isn't a protected class.

I have no issues with charging people higher health insurance premiums, I also have no issues with companies that ban smoking on their premises. I'd do the same if it were my company.

Where I draw the line though is telling people how they should live in the comfort of their own home. If someone smokes at home, how does that any of their employers business?

In the case we examined in my ethics class, the company involved started out by charging smokers a higher health insurance premium, they then said you have to quit smoking, and from there they also said that neither you or your spouse can smoke if you want to stay employed. Once items like this get allowed, where does it stop?

In my opinion, it is unethical or just morally wrong to tell people how to live their personal lives. To my it is a violation of a person's civil rights. It impinges on a person's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If they can ban smoking and require people to maintain a "healthy" weight (assuming it is unrelated to job function) lets keep going. Now the new rule is if you are a member of caronlinahuddle.com, you can't work here

Granted you always have a choice to work someplace else, but the same argument was used against people of color originally, or holding women back from having certain positions etc... I don't see this as any different


So is it not an infringement of the employer's right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness by preventing them from being able to set their own standards for employment?

#50 g5jamz

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:23 PM

If someone has the attitude of "I can do whatever I want in the comfort of my home" then the company should be able to say "I can refuse to subsidize your healthcare in order to keep costs low for employees that choose not to smoke and eat bearclaws 2-by-2".

#51 pantherfan49

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:26 PM

So is it not an infringement of the employer's right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness by preventing them from being able to set their own standards for employment?


there is no right to the pursuit of happiness. If there were, taxing me at a higher rate than low lifes would be an infringement on that right.

#52 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 06:15 PM

Employers should be able to hire or fire you for whatever reason they want.

It's their money.


Perhaps, but the fact is that the government does regulate employment, and they are going to for the foreseeable future. No congress that can possibly be foreseen is going to stop the fed's (or the state) from regulating standards in labor. And fwiw, some of that regulation is a good thing, for example child labor laws.

So the question we have to answer is not if the feds should regulate employment practices, but to what extent? And imo, it should be black and white, with as little gray area as possible.

#53 logic1977

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 07:16 PM

If someone has the attitude of "I can do whatever I want in the comfort of my home" then the company should be able to say "I can refuse to subsidize your healthcare in order to keep costs low for employees that choose not to smoke and eat bearclaws 2-by-2".


Your mixing issues. I agree companies should be able to charge higher health premiums. I dont think they should be able to flat out refuse to hire.

No matter how you look at it; it begins a difficult trend. Should they ban pregnancy next? Thats obviously a choice and one that clearly has hazards to a woman's health. Plus the offspring will have a host of additional healthcare needs that are completely avoidable.

#54 frash.exe

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 07:30 PM

employers naturally try to be as inflexible as possible when looking for people to work for them

i mean it's their money, so trade that for the candidate that has no other commitments, at least 3 years experience doing almost the exact same thing (too busy to train), and is psychologically a robot, and be willing to accept a low wage. now where does this person exist exactly? maybe narnia iunno.

#55 pantherfan49

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:01 PM

Perhaps, but the fact is that the government does regulate employment, and they are going to for the foreseeable future. No congress that can possibly be foreseen is going to stop the fed's (or the state) from regulating standards in labor. And fwiw, some of that regulation is a good thing, for example child labor laws.

So the question we have to answer is not if the feds should regulate employment practices, but to what extent? And imo, it should be black and white, with as little gray area as possible.


obesity will never be a recognized "protected class" as the bullshit SCOTUS puts it. Disability because of obesity, yes, but never obesity.