What are my rights if I had to quit my job due to smoking in workplace?

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What are my rights if I had to quit my job due to smoking in workplace?

I just started a new job in office of about 8 employees, 1 of whom smokes. This gave me terrible headaches. I told owner who told the smoker to stop, however the employee harassed me and talked about me behind my back. Just nasty. I felt so uncomfortable I had to quit. Can anything be done. Now I’m out a job?

Asked on November 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, there is nothing you can do. Your state does not ban smoking in the workplace, so it was legal for this employee to smoke and the employer had no obligation to stop him or her. Therefore, you can't sue the employee for smoking or the employer for allowing it.
Similarly, there is no law requiring employees to be nice to each other, or fair or professional--in fact, they can be as mean to each other as they like; and employers do *not* have to make their employees behave towards each other but can allow cruel, etc. behavior. Therefore again, while this was unfair, nothing illegal was done. 
You accordingly chose to quit, which is your right and may have been the best choice for you, due to legal bahavior and conditions; therefore, you cannot sue, because in the law's eyes, your quitting was purely voluntary.


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