Is it legal for an employer not to hire me because I smoke at home or in my personal vehicle?

This is on the bottom of all Centura Health job postings in Colorado. Important notification to applicants as of Nov. 20, 2014 Effective Jan. 1,2015, Centura Health will no longer hire tobacco users in Colorado and Kansas. The change to our policy does not apply to associates hired on or

before Dec. 31, 2014 . Centura Health is an Equal Opportunity Employer, M/F/D/V.

Asked on April 4, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that an employer cannot hire an applicant due to their being a smoker (or due to most other behaviors, etc.), The only limitation would be not hiring someone because of their inclusion in a "protected class". This means not hiring them because of their race, religion, nation origin, disability, age (over 40), gender, etc. That would constitute discrimination which is illegal.  


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