Whether your company can do this depends on where you live, as some states have laws preventing employers from discriminating against smokers, but other states provide no such protection and leave employers free to fire employees who smoke.Most of the companies implementing anti-smoking policies are giving their employees time to quit smoking, and are supporting their efforts by sponsoring programs and paying for aids to quit smoking, such as medication, nicotine gum, and patches.
To learn more about your rights with respect to off-duty conduct, read below: 1. Is there anything I can write about in my blog that I cannot be fired for? I have a second job on weekends, which never interferes with my work for my full-time employer. I smoke medical marijuana in a state where it's legal, however, my employer fired me for testing positive for marijuana. Generally speaking, if there is no law specifically protecting you from being fired for the activity under consideration, and if you are not a union or governmental employee with special protection against being fired without a reason, then you are employed at will.
Can my employer fire me for what I do on my own time, outside of work? My company has announced that it is going to fire anyone who is a smoker, after strictly enforcing an anti-smoking policy at work for several years. I occasionally mention things that happen to me at work, but don't identify who my employer is. My employer's personnel handbook has a "no-moonlighting" policy. My company has a "no fraternization" policy that restricts managers from socializing with non-management employees. Employment-at-will means that both the employer and the employee can end the employment relationship at any time without notice or reason.
There is no single law protecting the rights of employees while they are off work.
Instead, other areas of the law, such as discrimination, drug testing, and harassment laws, protect an employee's off-duty conduct. I recently tried to get promoted to a managerial position but I was denied because I would be supervising my husband.
For more information on these laws, see our site's page on political activity retaliation.
If you're whistleblowing--reporting the employer's unlawful conduct--you may have some protection if you've reported it to a government agency first.
Also, you should never conduct any business related to your second job while working for the first employer, which includes phone calls, e-mails, and use of your primary employer's supplies or business contacts.
Some companies concerned about sexual harassment have instituted strict "anti-nepotism" or dating policies which seek to prevent workers from dating certain or all coworkers.
In some states, if you write about political matters, you may have protection under laws that make it illegal to discriminate against you for engaging in political activity.
A handful of states have laws restricting an employer's ability to fire you for "lawful conduct outside of work," which might offer some protection.
An increasing number of companies are adding these policies, and most of these policies have thus far survived legal challenges.