Legal Question in Civil Rights Law in Florida

termination of employment due to being a smoker

Is it a violation of any of my rights to have been terminated from a job for being a cigarrette smoker? I was a secretary for an office that performed colonics and beauty assistance (i.e. facials and non surgical facelifts).When I was first hired 3 months ago, I was upfront and informed my boss that I was a smoker, she made it very clear to me that it was not a problem with her. Now suddenly I have been fired due to the fact that my being a smoker ''does not go with the image she portrays in her office'' (being in the field of good health promotion).This came after I had been given the prior week off, due to the fact that I was ill(this having nothing to do with my being a smoker). She also brought up the fact that my being ill was also an obstacle to my job.She wanted someone who was ''well and healthy''.Mind you, I never requested that time off from my job, she had told me to take the week off,also, my health problems never interfered with my ability to do my job.It was never an issue, till now.My abilities to perform my job well and above what was required of me, were never a problem.

Could you tell me if this is something I can take legal over, or should I just let it go? Thank you for your time.

Asked on 10/14/04, 4:13 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Rahul Manchanda, Esq. Manchanda Law Office PLLC

Re: termination of employment due to being a smoker

Are you in fact, ill? Or was this just an assumption made by your supervisor? Please telephone the office at (212) 618-1830.

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Answered on 10/15/04, 9:33 am
Scott Mason The Legal Resource Center

Re: termination of employment due to being a smoker

I recommend you get a copy of the book Your Rights in the Workplace which has a chapter on illegal firings. It can help you decide if this is worth pursing.

You can pick up a copy here: (copy and paste in browser windwo)

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Answered on 10/16/04, 11:36 pm

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