An employer adopted a policy to hire only nonsmokers. After a new hire tested positive for nicotine, he was fired. He then sued the employer, claiming wrongful discharge and invasion of privacy.
What happened. In an effort to curb medical costs and promote a healthy lifestyle, the Scotts Company in Massachusetts adopted a policy prohibiting its employees from smoking, both on and off work. To monitor compliance with the policy, employees were required to submit to nicotine testing. New hire, “David,” was a smoker, but he never smoked at work or while on company property. David’s mandatory urine test was positive for nicotine, and Scotts immediately fired him. David sued Scotts on several grounds, including that his firing violated public policy and that the mandatory nicotine testing violated the state’s Privacy Act. Scotts moved to dismiss the claims.
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