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Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. Sued Over Corporate Smoking Policy
In an informative article in Human Resource Executive entitled ‘The Butt Stops Here,’ Barbara Worthington details the recent trends in corporate smoking policies along with a thorough recounting of the statistics supporting corporate efforts to curtail the effects of smoking. As a side bar to the article, there is also an update on Scotts Miracle-Gro’s complete ban on smoking for its employees, not just on company property but everywhere. The company completely forbids its employees to smoke and regularly screens existing employees as well as all new hires for the presence of nicotine. A former employee who was fired for failing the screen is now suing Scotts in Suffolk Superior Court for violation of a Massachusetts privacy statute by banning a legal, non-work-related activity and violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
Companies like Scotts Miracle-Gro, Pitney Bowes, and General Dynamics Electric Boat (profiled in the HR Executive story) are implementing smoking policies as part off an overall employee wellness plan. Scotts, however, has implemented the most strict anti-smoking policy in the country, and the courts will now be deciding its legality. The case presents some interesting legal issues, and companies around the country will undoubtedly be watching closely to see what happens.
[tags]Corporate Smoking Policies, Anti-Smoking Campaigns, Corporate Wellness Programs, Employee Benefits, Scotts Miracle-Gro, General Dynamics, Electric Boat, Pitney Bowes[/tags]