Is it legal under any circumstances for a business to ask a potential employee/current employee if they smoke tobacco productsand test them to find out?

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Is it legal under any circumstances for a business to ask a potential employee/current employee if they smoke tobacco productsand test them to find out?

Asked on January 12, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. An employer could have a no-smoking policy (no laws protect an employee's right to smoke or otherwise use tocacco products) and could make it a requirement that prospective employees and employees consent to a test to check for tobacco use. The employer should either test everyone or should test on a purely rendom basis, so as to avoid charges of discriminating in employment (e.g. if it happens that more African American employees are tested than others, that could be a sign of racial discrimination), but having a no-tobacco policy and having procedures to enforce it is legal.


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