Can an employer in Virginia deny me employment because I have nicotine in my system?

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Can an employer in Virginia deny me employment because I have nicotine in my system?

Can an employer in Virginia deny me employment because I have nicotine in my
system?

Asked on January 3, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If your employer has a no-nicotine policy, then yes you can be terminated for breaching this policy. The fact is that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit in an "at will" work arrangment. Accordingly, unless this policy is prohibited by the terms of any applicble union agreement or employment contract, then you have no cliam here. Aslo, it must not constitute some form of actionable discrimination, which it does not since smokers are not in a legally protected class. For your part, at this point, you can either comply with your employer's mandate, ignore it but risk termination, or quit.


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