Can an employer legaly discriminate against smoking but not illigal drug use?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an employer legaly discriminate against smoking but not illigal drug use?

Our employer is starting a non smoking policy as part of its medical benifits. They will test employees and if found to be smoker will charge a $25 surcharge every paycheck for as long as they are a smoker. However (due to union pushing) they will not be testing for illigal drug use under the same so called guidelines. I feel thes is discriminatory and should be equal for both.

Asked on November 1, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The law allows discrimination: there is no legal requirement to treat employees the same except for certain specifically protected reasons (e.g. no racial discrimination; no sex-based discrimination; etc.). However, there is no protection for smokers or smoking, so an employer may do this, and may treat smokers differently or worse than others--indeed, an employer could legally fire any employees who smoke.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption