Can I Refuse to Hire a Smoker to Work in My Practice?

While Texas has no “smokers’ rights” laws, some might believe that smokers are protected by disability rights laws if they claim an addiction to nicotine.

You can avoid the issue of whether someone is a smoker by enforcing an appropriate policy in the workplace prohibiting smoking and smoking breaks during the day, suggests the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Breaks are optional, including smoking breaks, so employees do not have to be given time off to smoke during their shifts. Also, employers have the right to require employees not to smell like cigarette smoke when they are at work or on practice business.

TWC provides two sample smoking policies. One is fairly flexible but firm, while the other adopts a much more stringent set of requirements. TMA’s Policies and Procedures: A Guide for Medical Practices also contains a basic sample policy.

Source: Texas Business Toda , fourth quarter 2016

Published Nov. 23, 2016

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Last Updated On

November 29, 2016

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