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Smokers Need Not Apply

A recent news story was published by ABC 15 News Arizona discussing the fact that the well-known company, U-Haul, would no longer interview or hire nicotine users. A company spokesperson said the change would be effective February 1 of this year. The company is based in Arizona and, according to the article, it is legal in Arizona to refuse employment to a nicotine user.

Overall, it was clear that U-Haul is taking health and wellness within the company very seriously. The organization started a wellness program four years ago and now they are “hoping to build a workforce that’s free from nicotine addiction as a whole,” says U-Haul Chief of Staff Jessica Lopez. In addition, U-Haul is said to be building a brand-new conference and fitness center on its midtown campus.

However, this does raise a serious ethical dilemma, all for the sake of reducing health insurance related costs and increasing productivity from the company’s perspective. The question is whether this opens the door for unethical behavior that could result in discriminatory hiring practices? Does a company, or any large organization, have the right to be this particular in its hiring practices? Let us know what you think by emailing [email protected].

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist