Lewis Quoted in Plain Dealer Regarding MetroHealth System’s Decision Not to Hire Smokers

Professor Browne Lewis

Professor Browne Lewis

C|M|LAW’s Leon and Gloria Plevin Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Health Law and Policy, Browne Lewis, was quoted in the Plain Dealer in an article, MetroHealth joins Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals with policy to not hire tobacco users, by Ellen Jan Kleinerman, on April 29, 2013.  The article described the MetroHealth system’s decision not to hire smokers after June 1, 2013.  According to a MetroHealth representative, refusing to hire smokers is a move that follows a national trend to “to encourage healthier life styles, increase worker productivity and lower health-care costs.”  In this decision, MetroHealth follows the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, which have both adopted this policy, along with a growing number of employers across the country.  Professor Lewis acknowledges that smokers are not a protected class in terms of employment discrimination, but argues that “[e]ven if it’s legal, it’s bad public policy. Where do you draw the line? Is the next step not hiring obese people or people who drink alcohol?  It makes more sense to use other incentives to get people to stop smoking instead of just closing the gates.” 

To read the article, see:

http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2013/04/metrohealth_joins_cleveland_cl.html

 

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