Smoking (and lying about it) could cost you your job

Yesterday it was reported that Whirlpool Corp. suspended 39 employees for lying about tobacco use. The employees had signed paperwork indicating that they did not use tobacco, but they were seen smoking or chewing tobacco on company property.

The company's stance is simple: They have employees fill out paperwork that asks them about tobacco use. The paperwork says that they could be suspended or terminated if they lie. Whirlpool then uses the paper to charge tobacco users an extra $500 per year toward their health insurance premiums.

Personally, I don't care if people smoke or not. But I do care if they lie to their employer about it. The simple fact is that health insurance premiums are higher for tobacco users. The reasons are obvious: They cost insurance companies more. I think that employer should have every right to recover part or all of that additional premium based upon the smoking factor.