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Should Employers Have Control Over What Employees Do Outside of Work?

A Philadelphia-area company's announcement that it would no longer hire smokers hit a nerve with some readers.

Patch on Monday reported that Main Line Health would no longer be hiring people who use tobacco or nicotine products.

Main Line Health, one of the largest health-care providers and employers in southeastern Pennsylvania, will allow current users of the products to remain on staff, but will require them to pay more for health insurance, the company said.

The news struck a chord with many Patch readers.

Many readers on Facebook posted that they were glad to see the change, but others wondered about employers placing restrictions on legal activities enjoyed outside of work.

And some wondered what restrictions would be next. 

“Funny, obese employees and alcoholics can still be employed there,” user Recchi wrote in the comments.

Banker0917 had similar concerns, writing, “And those who drink alcohol . . . ??”

“And their other vices?” reader Reeny Durante Saino asked.

Do you think employers should be able to restrict legal activities enjoyed by their employees outside of work? Take our poll above! 


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