HR Management & Compliance, Recruiting

Nicotine Users Need Not Apply

Having a healthy workforce is not only great for your workers, themselves, but it also impacts your bottom-line for a variety of reasons: Reduced absenteeism, higher productivity, reduced healthcare costs, the list is endless! This logic is why one employer is now discriminating against nicotine users during the hiring process. 

nicotine

Source: Kenishirotie / shutterstock

U-Haul International is committed to promoting and empowering a healthy workforce and will soon be the first major company in its field to decline job applicants who are nicotine users. The nicotine-free hiring policy will go into effect in 21 states on February 1, 2020. For employees hired prior to that date, however, these workers will not be impacted by the policy.

This policy furthers the progression of U-Haul to establish one of the healthiest corporate cultures in the U.S. and Canada. U-Haul recently broke ground on a 54,208-square-foot conference and fitness center that will become a focal point of its Midtown campus. This commitment to its team will help U-Haul continue to attract the best and brightest professionals to Arizona.

“We are deeply invested in the well-being of our Team Members,” says Jessica Lopez, U-Haul Chief of Staff—in a press release announcing the new policy. “Nicotine products are addictive and pose a variety of serious health risks. This policy is a responsible step in fostering a culture of wellness at U-Haul, with the goal of helping our Team Members on their health journey.”

U-Haul employs more than 30,000 across the U.S. and Canada, and is among Arizona’s largest employers with 4,000-plus Team Members. Arizona is among the 21 states where it is lawful to decline hiring individuals who use nicotine products.

Other states where the policy will be enacted are:

  • Alabama,
  • Alaska,
  • Arkansas,
  • Delaware,
  • Florida,
  • Georgia,
  • Hawaii,
  • Idaho,
  • Iowa,
  • Kansas,
  • Maryland,
  • Massachusetts,
  • Michigan,
  • Nebraska,
  • Pennsylvania,
  • Texas,
  • Utah,
  • Vermont,
  • Virginia, and

Headquartered in Phoenix since 1967, U-Haul offers Team Members an array of benefits and resources to become the best version of themselves through its “Healthier You” program. The wellness program is designed to assist Team Members in four areas: health, mindset, nutrition, and fitness.

Program features include:

  • Nicotine cessation assistance for current Team Members;
  • Gym and personal trainer reimbursements;
  • Registered dietitian plans;
  • Health fairs;
  • Farmers markets;
  • Healthy meals and vending;
  • An online health portal;
  • U-Haul Active Day for group fitness events; and
  • A robust benefits package.

In September, U-Haul addressed the mental health of its Team Members and their households by adding the “You Matter” program. “If we take care for our Team Members, they will take care of our customers,” Lopez adds.

Individuals seeking U-Haul jobs in the aforementioned 21 states will see statements regarding the nicotine-free hiring policy on applications and will be questioned about nicotine use. In states where testing is allowed, applicants must consent to submit to nicotine screening in the future to be considered.