St. Luke’s Hospital and Health System in Bethlehem will screen new hires for tobacco use and not hire anyone who tests positive for nicotine.
Current employees will not be tested. Employees who fail the screening may try again in six months.
The hospital launched the initiative to promote a healthier workforce and cut health care costs.
Unlike some states, Pennsylvania lacks a “lifestyle discrimination law” that prevents employers from discriminating based on employees’ use of legal products on their own time.
Advice: If you’re considering your own policy to refuse to hire smokers, beware. St. Luke’s could face disability discrimination charges under the ADA if applicants can prove their nicotine addiction meets the law’s definition of a disability.
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