Why You’re Wrong to Think a Smoking Ban Violates Your Rights as an Employee

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As employment became harder to come by with the economic decline of 2008, more and more frivolous lawsuits began to go before American courtrooms. A conversation with experienced employment attorneys can tell you that much. That’s not to say that many cases weren’t warranted complaints of violations of employee laws. Pregnancy discrimination, racial discrimination, and all the rest certainly didn’t disappear when the economy got bad.

However, one type of complaint, specifically the belief that smoking bans are a violation of rights for employees, began to pop up more and more as people hoped to squeeze some money out of their employers. As many only found out after hiring an employment lawyer and dragging their employers into court, smoking bans are not a violation of your rights as an employee.

State Laws Do Not Protect You from Smoking Bans
As NOLO.com points out, there are different regulations regarding so-called “smokers’ rights” at private institutions from state to state. Only about 50% of states bar employers from refusing to hire people simply because they smoke. On the other hand, most states say nothing about banning smoking on premises. The reason is simple enough: businesses need to be able to make decisions that they feel are in the best interest of their employees and their customers. Smoking puts all employees at risk, and that makes employers liable. Further, it also puts customers at risk of many different health problems. This is why you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who believes smoking bans are a violation of your rights as an employee.

And yes, E-Cigs Are the Exact Same Thing
Maybe you’ve bought into the marketing and believe that if you start smoking e-cigs, you can start smoking at work, even when your employer’s policy explicitly forbids it. As The Huffington Post points out, many employers have stopped seeing the distinction between e-cigs and traditional cigarettes. Why? Mounting evidence shows that e-cigs have poisoned people and may be at fault for respiratory illnesses among their users. In other words, they still pose a risk to you and anyone you might smoke, or “vape,” around at work.

Do you think workplace bans on smoking are a violation of your rights as an employee? Sound off in the comments below. Continue reading here.

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