Arizona Bill Would Make It Legal for Employers to Fire Women for Using Birth Control


Via Balloon-Juice:
"Arizona is an “at-will-employment” state, which means that employers do not need a reason to fire and employee. Theoretically, if an employer finds out that an employee wants to use birth control for preventing pregnancies, that employer would be within his or her legal right to fire the employee for being a nympho-whore (while couching it in other terms)."
But still, this is a symbolic bill, so the reality that you could be fired right now in Arizona for whatever reason isn't really the point. It's a big fuck you to the 20th century by the GOP.
How is this not a HIPPA violation?
Single payer fixes all this shit. There's no logical reason on God's Gray Earth to conflate employment with medical insurance.
@3, it is. Stoopid stoopid stoopid.

@3 sue them!
From "Papers, Please" to "Prescription, Please"!

I'm not sure of all the details of HIPPA, but my guess is that HIPPA protects patients from having their medical info improperly released by medical-related entities (doctors, hospitals, insurance companies). This would be forcing you, the female patient/private citizen to disclose, which would violate privacy in other ways. Just a guess, though.
I didn't know Debbie could be a man's name!
Any conservative, Republican, or libertarian should be appalled by this intrusive government. I suspect, and hope, that many are.

Just a point of clarification: In an "at will" employment situation (which applies here in WA too, I might add), it is true that an employer can terminate employment without cause (technically, this is the same thing as being laid-off), but IF they do so, the employee is still eligible to receive health benefits until their eligibility expires (at which point they can COBRA, if they choose), AND they are eligible for unemployment compensation.

And of course, the supreme irony here is that the employer may already paying for contraception, since its covered under about half of all major-carrier plans. So it's entirely possible they would be terminating the employee for exercising their right to receive benefits the employer has offered as part of their benefits package.

And if the employer isn't paying for contraception as part of their health benefits package and the employee is paying out-of-pocket, then IT'S NO FUCKING BUSINESS of the employer whether the employee is using contraception or not.
"A hand in every uterus!"

-Signed, the party of small government

Don't count on it. It's only "intrusive government" when its an issue liberals support; if it's an issue conservatives support, like this one, then they're all "intrude away!"
Fire them if they use birth control! If they don't, fire them because they might get pregnant on the job! Either way, get them back in the kitchen!
Viagra is birth control, right?

... it is now ...
Arizona is a reactionary as all get out state. Yes it is reactionary legislation, but its the fault of the people-they keep putting republicans in power. If they don't like the legislation then they ought to get a grip and stop electing right wingers.
What 16 said - fuck Arizona with a rusty chainsaw.
@2 - "at-will employment" is not the same thing as giving an employer free reign to fire someone because of personal differences. There are many exceptions, and it looks like, unless an employer has it written into their employee handbook that using contraceptives for the purpose of preventing pregnancy is a basis for termination, this would open them up to wrongful termination.…
@11 - clearly I don't type fast enough!
@13: Then those folks are being intellectually dishonest. I would hazard a guess to say that William F. Buckley, Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater and others in "our father's Republican party" would not go for this at all.
Why is this law necessary? With the exception of a few forms of explicitly forbidden discrimination, an employer can already request whatever he wants of you and fire you for not complying. He could, for instance, demand an an annual note from your mother assuring him that you are visiting her enough. No law is needed to make this legal -- if you want to make it illegal, then you need a law.
@20 You're just now figuring this out? Social conservatives have been championing this kind of intellectual dishonesty for quite a while now. "Government out of my life but inside your bedroom/uterus" has been the mantra ever since the Christian right ascended to power.
@2, thanks for directing me to that!
What the fuck is WiS talking about?
@11 + 18 - good to know. I am obviously not an HR person. Good points. Didn't know WA was an 'at-will' state as well.

@23 - no prob
So clearly the thing to do is initiate Arizona legislation that would allow employers to inquire of and then sack *men* who purchase condoms... Because clearly condoms are primarily used to avoid pregnancy, and those dirty-slutty men are shirking their God-ordained responsibility to be fathers nearly every time they have sex. QED.
This is getting so insane that I'm starting to think it's all a liberal conspiracy. This level of lunacy ensures the Dems win in November, right? Or do the Republicans not know we are in an election year?
@9: I know right? The insult to insultiest injury is that this bill was introduced by a woman.
@3 That is "HIPAA"
Come on, bitch. Show me those mastectomy scars. How do I know you're really sick? Sure, I'm just a $12 an hour HR staffer, but I'm just as good as any doctor. You sayin' I'm not? Clear out your desk, you strumpet, you trollop, you whore.
@20- You act like Ronald Reagan had principles. It's funny. He didn't.
Commenter #20:
It's easy to think better of conservative lights who are no longer active threats, but:
0.) Goldwater was in favour of the absolute right to do as you will with your possessions and the ones whose owners (shares-holders) have put in your care, to the extent that he was strongly against the Civil Rights Acts of the mid-1960s. He changed his mind later, but I think that was a mellowing with age.
2.) Buckley basically agreed with Goldwater, except that he'd have been willing to have government enforce bans against using your possessions in such a way as to weaken traditional customs and values, or violate the "Natural Law" as understood by the he liked sodomy laws, and I guess also would have been against an employer's right to fire an employee because she wouldn't commit adultery with him. Buckley became more libertarian with age, but still believed that the State had a rôle in reining-in the Creative Destruction at which capitalism excels.
3.) Reagan basically agreed with Goldwater, but might have been a little more sympathetic given that there was a time in his life (post-Jane, pre-Nancy) in which birth-control was very important to him. I think he would have kept whatever position his real-estate and C.E.O. friends thought were most reasonable.
Why single out women? If you're a man with a female partner who is on birth control, why aren't you also subject to this. What if your health care covers condoms?

Of course, I know the answer.
Obviously what we need is people having more children and less sex. Bravo AZ!
Unless you can prove in a court of law that your employer fired you specifically for legally-prohibited reasons (gender/age/race/etc.), you can't win against the employer. It's the "but for" issue: the employer wouldn't have fired you but for gender, etc. So this law isn't needed, and HIPAA isn't involved because the employee themselves is disclosing their medical records. It's just another psychological brick in the wall that the fundamentalists are building against women's rights over their own bodies. They're not directly attacking Roe v. Wade; just brick after brick, state after state.
You guys are having your legs pulled by a series of hysterical articles that misread the bill. The bill does not allow the employer to request proof, it allows the employer to require that the INSURANCE COMPANY request proof. Read it for real before you fly off the handle.
(it's still bad, but it's not OMG YOU HAVE TO REPORT YOUR WHORE PILLS TO YOUR BOSS bad)
@21, David Wright, @23, Cienna:

Why is this law necessary? With the exception of a few forms of explicitly forbidden discrimination, an employer can already request whatever he wants of you and fire you for not complying.

Because it sets an obscene "legal precedent" --- to further destory workers' rights and women's rights, combining the two into one precedent.

And yes, Arizona is just like what a Gov. named Billy Clinton did in Arkansas, making it a "right-to-work" state and "at-will" state. (But he's a so-called "liberal" -- according to all you zero-information posers who dare call yourselves democrats (when you're nothing but faux crats!).

Now why oh why did Obama, so-called master chess player from Antonin Scalia's former postion on the faculty of the University of Chicago appoint that douchebagger, Janet N. to DHS (Der Homeland Security), thus removing her and allowing that other douchebagger to set in motion all this Arizonian bullcrap?

Ask yourself who has benefitted from all that prison privatization down there? And what Blackstone Group-connected guys Obama has appointed and hangs with?

Maybe you'll begin to mentally evolve a bit......
It would be pretty easy to prove that you were fired for illegal discrimination if your boss fired you for using birth control pills. Any "reason" given that can only apply to women is going to be, de facto, gender-based illegal discrimination. I do not see a law allowing employers to find out from the pharmacist if Male Employee #1 is using the money that the employer gives to him (aka, his salary) to buy condoms, after all.

And just when is AZ going to get around to banning condoms anyway? Unless of course, those have some other medically efficacious reason to exist that I don't know about. Clearing up some nasty teen boy acne, perhaps?
Arizona needs a total housecleaning in their legislature, including Gov. Jan Brewer. We keep hearing about all the intrusive and hateful bills they try to push through, but nothing whatsoever about what they plan to do about the housing crisis in Arizona, jobs, and even less about how they intend to attract business to the state to bring jobs and money to the economy. Unfortunately, the voters keep pressing the "R" button and hoping for something different; the true definition of "INSANITY".
I'd add that this isn't an attack on women, but rather, this is an attack on anyone that values privacy and freedom.

There is no chance this law would stand the test of the US Constitution. Employers aren't even allowed to inquire about your medical care, and an employee need not even provide a lay diagnosis to call in sick, nor can an employer legally inquire about your health.

I'm really surprised that the abortion thing is turning to birth control: When the hell did we roll back to 1936? Will somebody please call Margaret Sanger!!!
Their "plan" is to make the state as attractive as possible to businesses by allowing those businesses all kinds of legal rights to reduce costs.

The problem being, they haven't thought that through. Imagine the backlash when a national company demands "proof" than one of their employees in Arizona wasn't "cheating" by using hormone therapy as birth control.

They've confused Theocracy with Capitalism.
It's one thing if a church demands the legal right to not pay for birth control in their insurance premiums.
It's a very different thing when a business that operates outside of Arizona does the same thing.
@ 41: Dan has been saying that was coming for quite some time now. And it *is*, most emphatically, a war on women.

Well you can call it anything you want, but I'm not a woman and it sure as hell feels like a war against me...

This has just as much impact on men as it does on women. Birth control (weather for contraceptive or another use) affects us all. It has the power to affect both men and women, and it's not helpful to pretend that it doesn't affect men: That seems a little bit like a war on men to me: Let's not make a double standard here. But I don't think in terms of sex or race, I just think in terms of people and impact... So you're never going to hear me beating my drum to that tune.

Lets just beat these idiots that are pushing this obscene law: I'll choose my checkbook as my weapon of choice. Does anyone have any advice as to which organization can effectively battle this garbage? I don't know that part of the country or what organization will lead this fight...


So, what exactly is the difference between the employer requesting the information, using the insurance company as a mediary, as opposed to asking the employee directly? The goal is still the same: to require the employee to provide a medical justification for needing the contraceptives.

As they say in Logic 101: "a difference that makes no difference IS no difference"...
The company I work for drug tests for valid prescription drugs on new hires and will recommend no hire if they come back positive. The person is not notified at the time of the drug test what they are being tested for. If you really like that person you can request that HR notify the person that they came back positive for X medication and that they need to have their dr call and verify that they have a valid script. For the life of me I can't figure out how this is not against the law.
It could be worse, it could be Georgia.…
Any guys out there with skinny thumbs? I thought my jaw had already hit the floor. Now I wonder how much longer before my right to vote is eroded away?
Perhaps it is time for MLB to stop holding Spring training in such a f'd up state.
@20, The only reason those politicians seem better is because they're not running in 2012. They were the same kind of political whore as all the rest of these fucks. If Reagan were trying to get elected president now I virtually guarantee that he would be saying all the same shit against Planned Parenthood and birth control because these assholes will say anything to get elected.
"Why is this law necessary?"

Because Rule of Law assholes will now champion it, whereas otherwise they might have cringed.
The hypocrisy is so mind-fucking... Arizona, stop fucking my mind!!!!
Thank you, Arizona, for making Alaska feel like fuckin' Sweden.
Am all for the idea of a "Lysistrata"-like SEX STRIKE by ALL women against all Repuglicans -- and guys who would ever vote for Repuglicans!
The Media just lo-ooove Sex Stories -- so think how much free publicity this would get!

"Don't have sex with a Republican" -- just think of the signs, banners, T-shirts, op-ed pieces, leafletting -- just before the Elections, too!
That should fix their wagon.......

This idea is being seriously proposed by angry women all over the place; several on this thread.
I say, DO IT!!! It's time.
{Can you just see Rachel Maddow, various comedians, etc., taking it up? How would Rush and Faux "News" react?!}