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Scotts Miracle-Gro To Fire Smokers

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The attack on workers rights continues as another company has decided that if you smoke on your own time you'll be fired. Scotts Miracle-Gro uses the argument that it is to cut down on insurance costs. This argument is the most ignorant of them all. Instead of firing an employee just don't allow them to join in the company based insurance plan. It is giving smokers until October to quit.

It's all really just a way for the company to play God over what you do on your off time. Expect stories soon on companies requiring employee's to maintain a low fat percentile and to not drink since both of those increase potential health problems.


The lawn and garden company is trying to keep health insurance costs down by promoting healthy lifestyles for its employees.

Its chairman and chief executive, James Hagedorn, said the company shouldn't have to shoulder health risks for employees who smoke. It pays for 75 percent of employees' health insurance.

The Ohio-based company has 6,000 employees. It said it can fire smokers legally in 21 states.

Workers who smoke can get free counseling, nicotine patches and classes on quitting.

A spokesman said the company hasn't yet decided how it will enforce the smoking ban.

I'm thinking their solution to enforcement will somehow involve infringing on their civil rights. What are you going to do hide in the bushes and jump out saying "ah-ha! I caught you!"

There is a ton of bitching -- on both sides of the issue -- over at FARK

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Posted by Digger on December 11, 2005 06:44 PM (Permalink)

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My guess is that people are getting cancer at a high rate in this company and although the chemicals in the process of making the fertilizers are probably the cause, smokers may get it at a younger age and therefore the company would have to pay the medical costs. If however if they got rid of the smokers the folks may still get cancer but it would be at a time in their life where they would already be retired or easily pushed out of the company due to agism and the company will no longer be responsible for their medical care. Sorry folks I am that cynical. -e

Posted by: E. on December 14, 2005 02:28 PM

I am a Scotts employee in Ft.Madison Iowa. I have smoked for 30 years plus. I have never had plans to quit before. I feel good and am very active. Law or no law I don't agree (obviously) with the decision for Scotts to enforce a no smoking policy. In one breath the company says they would like to boost the moral of their "associates" yet in the next breath they take away something that many employees enjoy. I believe that the company will lose many employees because of this outrageous policy. I will quit smoking only to keep food on the table and because the area I work in is very depressed and I would have to move to find another job. I should be given an option whether I would like to quit smoking. One more thing I would like to add is the company will not allow chewing tobacco, lighting a cigar to celebrate a new baby or smoking a pipe to relax at night. The penalty is the same as a full time cigarette smoker. Why, in a time that unemployment is so high, would the government allow employers to terminate employees just for enjoying themselves (legally) outside of the workplace? Actually, many non-smokers have expressed that this policy is ridiculous and are worried that it will lead to a no alcohol policy, no motorcycle riding policy, no water craft policy, no overweight policy, no flying policy (except when the company needs you to go somewhere) etc.,etc. What's next for the working people????

Posted by: Wayne Chesnut on December 20, 2005 09:33 AM

My guess for "what's next for the working people" is that we'll be expected to live in a little box with tubes in our arms that only feed us the correct nutrients while we breath through respirators with just the right mix of oxygen and we toil away 20 hours a day on widgets.

Posted by: Digger on December 20, 2005 01:15 PM

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