PHOENIX — U-Haul International 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 Feb. 1. The employment of Team Members hired prior to that date 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. On Dec. 10, U-Haul broke ground on a 54,208-square-foot conference and fitness center that will become a focal point of its Midtown campus at 2727 N. Central Ave.
“We are deeply invested in the well-being of our Team Members,” stated Jessica Lopez, U-Haul Chief of Staff. “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 Washington.
As part of the plan, U-Haul is offering employees a wellness program.
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 added.
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.