Employers who ban smoking in the workplace are commonplace today. Weyco’s ban on employee smoking was the first of many headlines. In 2006, Scotts Lawn Care’s termination of an employee who tested positive for nicotine landed the company not only in the news but also in court when the employee filed suit. Despite the increasing number of employers adopting anti-smoking policies, they’re not so popular with everyone.
The UAW in particular, is not the biggest fan of smoking bans for its union members. Effective the first day of June, Caterpillar banned smoking at all of its US facilities. The United Autoworkers filed a complaint with the NLRB alleging that workers’ right to smoke is subject to mandatory bargaining, subject to the sixty-year old bargaining agreement.
Workplace Prof Blog asks the question that hasn’t yet been answered in the world of labor relations: Does the “right to smoke” at work affect the terms and conditions of employment so that it should be considered a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.