Firing an employee for being a smokerAt least one U.S. company has said it will terminate the employment of workers who smoke — what would happen if a Canadian employer tried a similar tactic?By Stuart Rudner03/16/2005|Canadian Employment Law Today Can an employer refuse to hire someone because they smoke? What if that person already works for the company — can it adopt a “no smokers” policy and terminate him if he continues to be a smoker?Some U.S. companies have recently taken the drastic step of refusing to employ people who smoke cigarettes, even if they only smoke on their own time. In most of these cases, the policy has taken the form of a refusal to hire anyone that is a smoker. In at least one case, however, the company has gone so far as to adopt a policy of terminating smokers who do not quit by a specified date.The motive behind these decisions is simple: money. The evidence suggests smokers are less productive, more prone to absenteeism and more costly to insure. Employing only non-smokers will reduce health-care costs, improve morale and increase productivity. To Read the Full Story, Subscribe or Sign In Remember Me Forgot Password If you are a current Subscriber, please click here to set-up or update your login information.