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Can employers now fire or not hire you, because your a smoker?
Is this true? Is it legal? How can they do that, what basis do they have? Is there any action the employee can take?

It didn't happen to me. I just seen a story like this, on the news. I want to prepare myself, since i'm a smoker.

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No, they cannot. It is a violation of your civil rights and a form of discrimination. They CAN request that you not smoke while you are at work, but unless it is a thing that prevents you from doing your job, they cannot fire you over it or refuse to hire you.

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Nikki IS here to ANSWER
It is possible, for them to not hire you for anything they please, since they don't have to tell you why they didn't hire you.

But, they can't fire you for it. They can make rules about it. Like my job. We aren't allowed to smoke in front of the building, because as part of our program we offer smoking cessation help. So, to our employer it seems contradictory.

It is your own personal choice and they can't fire you for it.

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As has already been said a company can decide not to hire you for any number of reasons and to be fair they can't employ every applicant so they make something up. They can fire you for smoking on company grounds or taking un scheduled smoking breaks but they must follow disciplinary procedure is you've been there more than 12 months.

We should not employ people who drinks, smokes, drives ecologically unfriendly cars, chews gum, eats junk food or in fact does anything at all that at least one other person in the company doesn't like. That way everyone would be happy and everyone would be unhappy we'd have a work force that doesn't work, industry that isn't industrious and a crippled economy but hey who cares at least we'd have stopped everyone doing anything they find enjoyable and I'm beginning to think that's what it's all about. If we're all so fed up and peed off we'll all do ourselves in and there wont be any over population, unemployment, scroungers or criminals and what a lovely world those that stay around would live in.

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Yes they can, and it's legal. So no there's no action you can take, other maybe that quitting and then trying for the job again.

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It is legal not to hire you because you are a smoker. You can not take any action, smokers are not a protected class as far as dicrimination goes.

I am not sure about firing though. I would think you could only fire them if they smoked on the job or company grounds after being told not too. Smokers seem to feel entitled to more breaks then other workers, I suppose this would be grounds as well.

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YES -- being a smoker is not a class protected by law.

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Smokers are not a protected class. An employer can fire you for any reason as long as it does not violate discrimination laws. You can be fired because they don't like your eye color. And it would be perfectly legally to fire someone who smoked.

Smokers don't realize it but the smoke clings to them. Non-smokers, especially folks with smoke allergies, can be bothered by the smell just passing by.

I use to be a very heavy smoker and the office was a no smoking area. I often took work home and did paperwork while I smoked. The accounting supervisor asked me to stop as the smoke clung to the paper and one of the clerks was severly allergic to smoke. I hadn't even realized the paperwork was smoke contaminated.

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They can not fire you if you smoke, but they can fire you if you take a unauthorized smoking break during work

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i never heard o that but they do anything any more.. i guess i wont get a job either since i smoke too,, its not fair to put us down like were some drug user..

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Yes and no. A small handful of states are now allowing employers to legally reject applicants who smoke or employees who smoke can be terminated if they refuse to quit smoking. The reason for this was due to health insurance premiums (that was there argument.) I was pretty shocked when the first case came out about 3 years ago now and seems to be catching on. On or about 30 states do not have these common law policies in effect and the employer cannot dictate to the employee(s) if whether they can smoke after work hours. However, in all states they can impose no smoking policies during work hours.

States that offer protection to employees and job applicants who smoke are as follows:

District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

Two recent cases are Weyco and Scotts Miracle Gro (Scotts is in Ohio not sure where Weyco is.) Regardless, these companies won rulings in their favor they could legally terminate employees who smoke and refuse to quit. What is still on the table is will these employers be allowed to perform random drug test. There is still a fine line here and no decisions have been determined with the exception there may be some illegality under the American Disabilities Act, Civil Liberties, and possibly discrimination. We will see. This whole thing is a mess.

It's a sad sad world when smokers are being treated worse than the local corner drug dealer.

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