by Kathryn Nash, Esq., Gray Plant Mooty, Minneapolis
Since 2007, when Minnesota’s Freedom to Breathe Act took effect, smoking has been banned in Minnesota workplaces. Now, new studies about the harmful effects of “third-hand smoke”—the toxic residue left by tobacco smoke on hair, clothes and other surfaces—have caused some employers to take their no-smoking policies to new heights.
Many employers are now considering policies banning even the smell of tobacco smoke in the workplace.
However, in many states, including Minnesota, employers are generally prohibited from taking adverse action against applicants or employees for their use of lawful consumable products off site during nonwork hours.
That means a no-tobacco-smoke-smell policy could run afoul of other legal obligations.
Smell like smoke, you’re fired
Frauenshuh Cancer Center in St. Louis Park made national news this summer when it fired an employee for smelling l...(register to read more)