Monday, July 4, 2011

Employers getting tougher with smokers

Many companies use quiet incentives to encourage desired employee behavior, such as losing weight. Not Macy's. As of Friday, the department store chain began charging workers who admit to using tobacco an extra $35 a month - $420 a year - for health coverage. The surcharge will be deferred only if smokers enroll in a free quit-smoking class. Their progress will then be reviewed after six months. Instead of using carrots to encourage smokers to kick the habit, businesses increasingly are wielding sticks. At PepsiCo, smokers pay an annual $600 insurance surcharge, while publisher Gannett charges $60 a month. Some go even further: Union Pacific...

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