It was reported today that Humana intends to stop hiring smokers, where the action is legally permitted. The company wants to encourage healthy behavior among workers and already has a policy of not hiring smokers in southwestern Ohio.
However, there are states that prohibit barring employment on the basis of smoking. Kentucky state law says that “It is an unlawful practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against an individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment… because the individual is a smoker or nonsmoker.”
A spokesperson from Humana was not immediately available for comment. However, the company’s Chief Executive Michael McCallister told another news source that the company eventually plans to extend the practice nationally. He told Fox Business, “we want to begin a long transition to an environment where it’s not something people do.”