I heard yesterday about this legislation which passed the Michigan House of Representatives. The bill is designed to prevent companies from firing workers for activities they engage in on their own time, as long as those activities are legal and don’t interfere with on-the-job performance. This stems from a 2005 situation in which several employees lost their jobs when an employer, Weyco Inc., instituted breathalyzer testing to ensure that employees did not smoke after working hours. The same fuckers went on to attempt to institute a policy by which fat employees could also be fired, although they were not successful because Michigan’s anti-size-discrimination law makes such policies illegal. Of course, I don’t see any employers telling people they can’t bungee jump, climb mountains, speed, talk on a cell phone while driving (my previous, very health-and-safety-conscious employer had an awareness campaign to discourage employees from talking while driving, but IME most softpedal the issue egregiously because to do otherwise would prevent you from conducting business while driving, and we can’t have that), or mow their yards without eye and hearing protection, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

Of course, the House Republicans whine, as they do about pretty much everything, that this will prevent employers from coming to Michigan, but frankly they need to STFU. I am so sick of all this pathological fear of raising taxes anyway (yeah, because the current stingy, fearful climate where legislators face recall if they approve a tax hike, even in a budget crisis that needs to be resolved in order not to violate the State Constitution–not that I am a huge fan of balanced budget amendments, but we do have one–has really made Michigan wealthy and encouraged job growth, except it totally hasn’t). And now they want to throw employees under the bus as they fall all over themselves to lick the ass of a shithead employer who wants to be able to regulate what I do on my own time off the job (and to be able to fire me for being fat when they have no idea what my “lifestyle” consists of, meaning they actually want to regulate how I am, not just what I do)? Pathetic. Why don’t you try working for me–you remember me, your constituency?–for once, you assholes?

Ahem. In any case, the whiners did not prevail, and the bill passed. Thanks to the House for addressing this issue decisively and doing what needed to be done. Happy Friday, everyone!

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