Wednesday, 16 December 2009

A new apartheid

I was taken aback by a certain policy followed by a lot of organisations regarding employment. A lot of companies these days have started a "No employment for smokers" policy.

This is alarming. Discrimination based on lifestyle choice is still discrimination, no matter what you justify it with. Are we using health and productivity concerns to forge a new racism? Inspite of all theories supporting the health/productivity concerns, should not the employment decision be based more on the individuals productivity/merit rather than debunking him/her right away for being a smoker. This generalisation is as alarming as saying people of ethnicity A have been shown to be less productive than people of ethnicity B, hence people of ethnicity A need not apply.

A company/organisation is within its rights to keep its premises free from the threat of second hand smoke for its non-smoking employees, by designating a smoke free work space or specific smoker-zones. However, the complete denial of employment to smokers is trespassing into the private rights of the individual.

Does an employer have authority over its employee's activities [ as long as they do not constitute illegal activities] and choices in his personal life?


  1. Wow! And to add to this, the haagen dazs outlet that opened in Delhi was apparently only for international passport holders! Oh well.

  2. i have sheen much worshe. in my office, they whip people who are shmokers.

  3. @narcotic
    so much for 62 years of independence..

    izh your offish into BDSM?

  4. i certainly dint know about this new development!!!
    this is ridiculous and as u rightly pointed out is fact i am also non-supportive of the ban on smoking in public places, when it came out, i found it pretty ridiculous...i think the better option is to educate smokers not to offend non-smokers in public place rather than putting a blanket ban on smoking!!
    as for hagen das, which one fellow blogger has pointed out...i think too much importance is being given to this whole thing, its not such a big brand in its home country(US), actually the only thing exotic about is its name...otherwise its as common as our mother dairy ice cream or even giving so much importance to this brand, we are just helping it in its publicity!!!

  5. This is SUCH an important blog... have half a mind to send a print copy to a few places I KNOW do this. !!

    So much for keeping personal and professional separate... so sad that intelligent people need to deal with such stupid shit in life.

  6. @star
    if only they were as sensible. this attitude of criminalisation of smokers will only lead to more people taking it up for the added thrill and to more avenues for the added income of some people in power.
    case in point: gujarat continues to drink its way to glory and drinks more than any state, though it is a legally "dry state".

    firstly thanks for dropping by. as for your remark, the same question plagues me.

    the extent to which we are helping to build a totalitarian society through such subtle "progressive" moves is shocking..