Closet Smokers Might Get Canned

Factory workers who lied on insurance forms may lose jobs
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2008 4:42 PM CDT
The Whirlpool logo is seen on a Duet series washing machine on a show room floor.   (AP Photo/Chris Gardner, file)
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(Newser) – A group of factory workers who lied about their smoking habits could be fired. The Whirlpool company charges lower premiums for health insurance to nonsmoking workers—and relies on the honor code when employees sign up. Now 39 workers at an Indiana factory have been suspended and face losing their jobs after being spotted smoking or chewing, reports the AP.

“It’s definitely not something we wanted to do. It’s unpleasant," says a company spokeswoman. Workers' rights advocates worry that this is a step down a slippery slope to employers exercising too much control. “We shouldn’t have to give employers complete control over our private life so they can save a few dollars on medical care," says one.