Discrimination Against Smokers?

Federal Court refuses to dismiss ERISA claim.

Employer’s policy prohibited employees from smoking tobacco products at any time regardless of whether they were in the workplace or not. The plaintiff was fired for having tested positive in a urine test. The purpose of the policy was to save money on medical insurance costs and promote healthy lifestyles among employees. The plaintiff claimed that his termination violated Section 510 of ERISA because the company’s action “interfered with” his participation in the company’s employee benefit plan, which he would have been entitled to had he remained employed. The plaintiff has also filed an invasion of privacy state claim.

Rodrigues v. Scotts Co., LLC, 07-10104 (D. Mass. Jan. 30, 2008)