Can an employer charge a “tobacco cessation fee”?

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Can an employer charge a “tobacco cessation fee”?

If yes, shouldn’t all smokers be charged? And shouldn’t there be some kind of tobacco testing?

Asked on September 14, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an employer can charge employees for smoking I assume that is what you are asking about--if not, please re-post with additional detail, since 1 employers may set any terms and conditions they like for or at work e.g. they could just make the workplace a no-smoking zone, even the parking lot, entirely and 2 smoking is not protected by law--it may be banned from any building or workplace. Employers do not need to treat all employees the same, unless they are discriminating against that is, engaging in the differential treatment based on one or another specifically protected characteristics, the main ones of which are race, religion, sex, age over 40, and disability but if the employer is not treating an employee differently because of such a protected characteristic, differential or unfair treatment is allowed.


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