Man Brings Lawsuit for Being Fired for Smoking
off the Job
A Boston lawn care worker has been fired for smoking off the
job. Scott Rodrigues, a former employee of Scotts Company tested
positive for nicotine during a routine drug test. Having nicotine
in one's system violates company policy.
Rodrigues is suing for invasion
stating that smoking cigarettes, while not
healthful is also not illegal and that Scotts' big brother-like
approach is unwarranted. According to the lawsuit, this
policy opens up a slippery slope of employers dictating
diet and exercise requirements as well.
The smoking lawsuit was filed in Suffolk Superior Court
on Wednesday, November 29 and legal experts believe this
is the first case of its kind to be filed in the state
of Massachusetts. Scotts' policy of not hiring tobacco
users and making current employees sign agreements not
to use tobacco is intended to drive down healthcare costs
for the self-insured company.
Civil libertarians, however, say the policy violates personal
privacy rights and may be a mask for other kinds of discriminative
behavior on the part of the company. Federal law prevents a double
standard in regards to insuring nonsmokers versus smokers, although
it is legal to pass along higher healthcare premiums to those