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Two Jacksonville Applicants Turned away from Job Because they Smoke

4:39 PM, Nov 4, 2010   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For more than six months, Andrea Nicolasora and Lisa Corathers have been filling out applications, interviewing and searching for a job.

And it has been frustrating. "Just going out every day, filling out all kinds of applications," said Nicolasora. "No one's hiring it seems like."

They thought they had a good lead at ABC Fine Wine and Spirits on Dunn Avenue, which was hiring two people. They tried to pick up an application this morning.

"Before she handed it to us she said, 'do you all smoke' and we said, 'yeah'," said Nicolasora. "She said, 'we're not going to hire you here.'"

Since June it has been company policy not to hire anyone who smokes, according to ABC.

Both Nicolasora and Corathers said they've never been asked that before and that it is unfair.

"It's people's right to smoke if they want to and as long as they're not abusing it and only do it on their break, I don't see why it should be a big deal," said Corathers.

The goal of the company, based in Orlando, is to save money on health care for employees. Also, it doesn't look good for employees to be smoking just outside the stores.

"Can you work there if you drink? I wouldn't be too worried about someone who just smokes cigarettes," said Nicolasora.

A Supreme Court ruling in 1995 allows the company's policy, which more and more companies are adopting. One Jacksonville law firm has said it won't hire smokers. Sarasota County also doesn't hire smokers.

But for Nicolasora and Corathers, it is just one more obstacle in what is already a tough job market.

ABC will not fire any current employees who smoke but just won't hire new ones that smoke.


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