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View Full Version : European company wins right to discriminate against smokers



ElMariachi
08-07-2006, 01:07 AM
A European company has the right to refuse employment to smokers, European Commissioner for employment and equal opportunities of Employers Vladimir Spidla has confirmed.

Scottish Labour MEP Catherine Stihler brought the issue to the commission after Irish call-centre company Dotcom Directories had advertised for a worker but said smokers needed not apply.

"If people are smoking on a coffee break or in their own time they come back into the office and they stink. We have a small office here and it would make things unbearable for the other staff", said Philip Tobin, director of Dotcom Directories in a radio interview.

EU legislation prohibits discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orientation and religion and belief in employment and other fields.

"A job advertisement saying that 'smokers need not apply' would not seem to fall under any of the ... prohibited grounds," the commissioner stated in a written reply to the MEP, quoted by the Financial Times.

"We all know employers discriminate on all sorts of grounds, from being too fat to the wrong colour hair. But for it to be so overt is depressing and shows that smokers are fair game," said Simon Clark, director of the British pro-smoking pressure group Forest to the paper.

In December last year the World Health Organisation became the largest international employer to ban the hiring of smokers in an effort to promote its public health campaign against tobacco use.


Thoughts on this? How far should companies be allowed to discriminate against individuals? Where should the law be drawn? Should companies be allowed to openly discriminate against obese individuals as well?

Fatso56
08-07-2006, 03:14 AM
Why should a smoker be treated any differently because of the legal status of their drug of choice? Smoking is more addictive then herion and smokers get paid breaks for the sole purpose of getting a fix while non-drug addicts are not entitled to these breaks.

futher more why should responsible adults who enjoy the use of illegal drugs under go random drug testing when it dosn't differentiate between what you do on your own time and what you do at work.

I have gone for jobs, been through three different interview processes, been basically welcomed into the company and told I am the top candidate for the job then have had to taken a medical before starting and been rejected on the basis of recreational cannabis use. Keep in mind we are talking drug 'use' in my case as opposed to 90% of smokers who are actual drug 'dependant'/'addicted'

If you are going to discriminate against drugs then discriminate against drugs, not their legal status.

Diesel66
08-07-2006, 03:16 AM
Business have the right to hire/fire anyone. Even race, creed, sex, etc discrimination should be legal. The govt doesnt have a right to tell you who to hang out with nor the right to tell you who to employ.


If you have govt contracts, they can have some control though.

MantisShrimp
08-07-2006, 03:26 AM
Hah they piss test for pot but tobacco not only kills more people, it costs companies WAY more in health insurance. Seems like a rational financial decision if you ask me. If they are doing it on moral grounds, they're twits.

Diesel66
08-07-2006, 04:49 AM
Hah they piss test for pot but tobacco not only kills more people, it costs companies WAY more in health insurance. Seems like a rational financial decision if you ask me. If they are doing it on moral grounds, they're twits.
pot is illegal. If you are make a mistake (especially if you hurt someone or destroy valuable equipment) and pop up hot for marijuana, that company can be sued until it is bankrupt.

G T
08-07-2006, 04:49 AM
Business have the right to hire/fire anyone. Even race, creed, sex, etc discrimination should be legal. The govt doesnt have a right to tell you who to hang out with nor the right to tell you who to employ.

Yep, they're the ones offering the job and the wages in the first place. Buying labour off a worker is no different to buying something off the local store; the buyer has every right to choose what they spend their money on, any regulation preventing this is an abominable attack on freedom.

user437490845hjgd
08-07-2006, 05:31 AM
If companies only want to hire asians with big feet, people who wear blue hats, deaf cigar chomping midgets who play the accordian, or whatever, I think they should be able to make that decision without government interference.