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Pennsylvania hospital becomes a ‘no nicotine’ employer

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

On April 1, Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill began refusing to hire anyone who tests positive for nicotine use. Applicants who fail the test can re-apply after six months. Current employees are not affected. The policy change extends to all full- and part-time employees, as well as volunteers.

Last year, Holy Spirit became affiliated with central Pennsylvania’s Geisinger Health System, which implemented a similar nicotine-free policy in 2012.

Hospital officials insist the test does not detect second-hand smoke.

Pennsylvania is one of 21 states that permit employers to not hire smokers. Many other states have what are called lifestyle discrimination laws, which prohibit employers from discriminating against applicants because they use legal products on their own time.

Note: This is a somewhat controversial move and laws in this area can change. Always consult with your attorney when implementing such a policy to ensure that it meets legal requirements.

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