Is It Legal to Deny Smokers Employment?

If you’re looking for a job AND you’ve been looking for a reason to kick that smoking habit, you just found it. From the press wires comes a story from Toledo, Ohio, of the ProMedica Health System which has announced that, starting on January 1, 2011, it will no longer hire any smokers*. (*This includes all tobacco use, including chew.)

So how will ProMedica Health System know if a candidate is lying? They’ll be conducting a pre-employment screening that includes indications of tobacco use. Basically, if a person fails the PRE-EMPLOYMENT SCREENING, he or she will be banned from applying to the company for 90 days. Of course, many job seekers are asking the question: Is this type of pre-employment screening legal? The answer, as you might suspect, is “Yes”. ProMedica Health System isn’t the first organization to go this route, either. Other health care systems have set the standards and have successfully been able to employ only non-smokers. As for those who are currently working for ProMedica Health System, they are exempt from screenings of any kind and may still use tobacco.

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Kristina Taylor
In 1989, Kristina began her career as a customer service representative at the newly formed American Tenant Screen, Inc. Ten years later, she pioneered tenant background screening on the Internet. As a long-standing member of the National Multifamily Resident Information Council (formerly the National Association of Screening Agencies) Kristina gains insight into the trends of the tenant screening industry to better understand the current and future needs of their clients.

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