Should Companies Be Allowed To Not Consider Candidates Who Smoke?

Apr 22, 2013

In Washington state, it’s perfectly legal for employers to refuse to hire people who smoke. In 2006, state lawmakers tried but failed to join 29 other US states that made it illegal for employers to discriminate against smokers. 

According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, it’s legal for companies to ban smokers from their workforce because smokers are not protected by any wrongful termination laws.

Ross talks about the ethics of banning smokers with the authors of two opposing articles that appeared earlier this month in the New England Journal of Medicine: Dr. Kevin Volpp, professor of medicine and health care management at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Kristin Voigt, assistant professor of philosophy at McGill University in Montreal.