The US city of Dayton, Ohio has said it will not hire employees who use any nicotine products in a bid to create a healthier workplace, cut back on medical costs and reduce the ‘loss of productivity’ from smoke breaks.
The city will enforce the new rule with all employees hired after from July on but it won’t apply to employees who worked for the city’s office beforehand, according to a story in dailymail.co.uk.
The city will employ a nicotine and tobacco pre-employment screening process. After being hired, the city will test employees if the office is tipped off about their tobacco use, according to the story.
‘Studies indicate that employees that smoke cost approximately an additional $6,000 per year in direct medical costs and lost productivity,’ Kenneth Couch, Dayton’s director of human resources, said.
Under the new rule employees will be banned from using nicotine or tobacco products at work or in their time off. The new plan will also eliminate designated smoking areas around the city property, according to the story.
However, not everyone is on board.
Leaders of labor unions fear that the new city policy could be a ‘slippery slope’ that could further scrutinize the personal habits of employees and their private lives that have little correlation with their job performance.