Construction of Mormon temple in Philadelphia bans workers from smoking, having caffeine and swearing

The Mormon temple under construction in Philadelphia. Credit: Stephanie Aaronson/Philly.comThe Mormon temple under construction in Philadelphia. Credit: Stephanie Aaronson/

Smoking and swearing are two things commonly restricted from most workplaces, though most have areas for employees to have a smoke break and swearing almost assuredly happens anywhere at any time despite being against the rules.

But caffeine? The coffee pot and soda machine are workplace institutions no matter where you might work. What employer would ban that?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is one, according to a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer. For the union workers in Philadelphia constructing a 60,000 square-foot Mormon temple, three rules are being enforced that most local union handbooks don’t: no smoking, no swearing and no caffeine.

“The reason is because it’s holy ground,” Steffanie Anderson, assistant regional director of LDS public affairs, told the paper.

Continued Elder Robert Smith, the highest-ranking church official in northeastern North America, “We had a ground-breaking and a special prayer that made that happen, and we believe that we need to treat it with the same respect we would with one of our churches.”

However, should workers need a smoke, caffeine or swearing break, there is a break area across the street. And, the church reports that the workers have taken a sense of pride in the site due to it’s sanctity. Mayor Michael Nutter recently remarked that it’s the cleanest construction site he’s ever seen.

Plus, one thing that isn’t banned at the site? Cookies. Alex and Pamela Carr, who have moved temporarily to Philadelphia from Utah for the temple’s construction, bake 100 cookies every Wednesday and deliver them to the workers. They call it “Cookie Wednesday.”