LANSING, Mich. — Four employees of a health care company have been fired for refusing to take a test to determine whether they smoke cigarettes.
Weyco Inc., a health benefits administrator based in Okemos, Mich., adopted a policy Jan. 1 that allows employees to be fired if they smoke, even if the smoking happens after business hours or at home.
Company founder Howard Weyers has said the anti-smoking rule was designed to shield the firm from high health care costs. “I don’t want to pay for the results of smoking,” he said.
The rule led one employee to quit before the policy was adopted. Four others were fired when they balked at the smoking test.
Chief Financial Officer Gary Climes estimated that 18 to 20 of the company’s 200 employers were smokers when the policy was announced in 2003. Of those, as many as 14 quit smoking before the policy went into effect. The company offered them help to kick the habit.
“That is absolutely a victory,” Climes said.
© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.