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Tuesday
Feb222005

Fire Employees Who Smoke?

You might have read of the Lansing, Michigan healthcare company that adopted a policy on January 1st of this year prohibiting employees from smoking, even on their own time.

The company says the anti-smoking rule is designed to shield it from high health care costs. One employee quit before the policy was adopted and four others were fired after they refused to take a smoking test. 14 of the company's 200 employees quit smoking before the policy went into effect.

You may think this is a stupid idea. You may think this is a great idea. If you are wondering if such a policy would work in Oregon, the answer is NO.

Oregon statute ORS 659A.315 makes it an unlawful employment practice to prohibit use of tobacco products during non-working hours. Prohibiting smoking at all times may work in Michigan, but not Oregon.

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