Can Employers Discriminate Against Smokers?

January 10, 2016
Oregon s First Week of

It may be legal to smoke tobacco, but that doesn't mean your employer can't hold it against you.It might be legal to smoke tobacco, however that does not mean your employer can't hold it against you.

Smoking cigarettes might be unhealthy, but it’s your decision whether to get it done or otherwise. And even though it might be an unpopular choice nowadays, the final factor you’d expect is the career suffering due to it. Surprisingly, many states, along with the authorities, allow companies to determine whether they wish to hire people who smoke and use people who smoke.

No Federal Protection

Extensive federal laws and regulations safeguard certain categories of people, for example immigrants and also the disabled, from various discrimination within the place of work, but no laws and regulations exist to safeguard employees who smoke from employment discrimination. Since people who smoke aren’t a protected class underneath the Equal Protection Clause and also the government doesn’t recognize smoking like a protected liberty or right, companies who won't hire you or subject you to definitely treatment that puts you in a downside to the place of work aren't breaking any federal laws and regulations. But based on if the condition you're employed in has anti-discrimination laws and regulations that safeguard people who smoke, you might have legal privileges that guarantee your freedom to make use of tobacco without discriminatory interference from your employer.

States Permitting Discrimination

Due to there being no federal protection for people who smoke, every condition has the legal right to establish its very own laws and regulations stopping employer discrimination against employees who smoke. By this writing, 21 states do not have legislation giving employees who smoke legal privileges against a company who discriminates against them. For instance, Washington condition hosts Alaska Air carriers – a business well-noted for its anti-smoking culture. At Alaska Air carriers, job candidates who interview for positions in Washington or any other condition that does not safeguard people who smoke from employment discrimination, must undergo an evaluation that picks up nicotine use in the last six several weeks and get a nicotine-free result before any offer of employment is created.

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