Refusing to hire applicants with health issues stemming from lifestyle

Trying to limit benefits costs by avoiding applicants with health issues related to smoking
By Tim Mitchell
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 12/10/2014

Question: Is it discrimination if an employer refuses to hire people with health issues due to personal choices (such as smoking) who could lead to extra health benefits costs?

Answer: The question of whether it is discriminatory to refuse to hire an applicant with a health issue will depend on whether that applicant has a disability or is perceived to have a disability within the meaning of the applicable human rights legislation.