Employment Law

Employment law questions? Ask an employment lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

I own a bakery/cafe that promotes healthy eating as we make…

I own a bakery/cafe...

I own a bakery/cafe that promotes healthy eating as we make everying from scratch every day, including the breads that make up our sandwiches. The smell of fresh baked products always lures in customers. Would it be illegal to ask a potential employee in an interview if they smoke or use tobacco products?

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you documented this or discussed it with HR?

What do you mean by documented? I am the HR being that I own the bakery.

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

Part time - small business

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Being that we bake everything from scratch, grind our own wheat, and feel it is important for our employees to know and taste our products in order to sell them, can I ask a potential employee if they are gluten-free or have any special dietary issues (i.e. vegan, vegetarian) that would prevent them from tasting products in order to sell to customers?

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Answered in 2 minutes by:
10/5/2017
Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38,824
Experience: More than 30 years in legal practice.
Verified

Thank you for using JA. I am Loren, a licensed attorney for over 30 yrs., and I am here to help.

I am a certified expert on JustAnswer since 2009, with nearly 100% in 5 star ratings. So, we should be able to work through your problem.

I appreciate your patience as I review your question. I will post my response shortly.

This is general information and no attorney client relationship is established.

The site may ask you if you wish to speak by phone for an extra charge. Many find the phone call to be the easiest and fastest way to get the information they need without posting on a public forum. I am also happy to continue online.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Online would be great...thank you for your time.

It is not a good idea to ask about smoking. Even if your company enforces a strict no-smoking policy, you cannot ask applicants if they smoke cigarettes. Even though smokers are not a protected class, per se, doing so violates their privacy and delves into their physical and emotional health, topics off-limits to employers. Even if you're concerned that hiring a smoker might be detrimental, you can only address issues directly related to job performance.

I am sorry. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I do not want you incurring potential liability.

If (and only if) you are completely satisfied that your question is answered, please remember to leave a favorable rating (click 5 stars in the rating section on this page). It is the only way that I am credited by JustAnswer for answering your question.

There is no additional charge to you for rating me favorably.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I figured so on the smoking, but just thought I would double check. Do you have advice on the dietary issues? Is that the same as smoking, even though it would relate directly to their job performance?

You can only really ask about job related issues. So, dietary issues are also off limits; maybe even more so than smoking, since the dietary issues may be related to disabilities or other health issues.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Understood. That really stinks for me. Where is my protection for my brand as a small business owner? That's a rhetorical question :-) Thank you for your time!
You are very welcome.
If you have no further questions, and have not yet done so, please remember to leave a favorable rating (click 5 stars in the rating section on this page). It is the only way that I am credited by JustAnswer for answering your question.
There is no additional charge to you for rating me favorably.
A bonus is not expected, but is always appreciated.
Thank you!
Loren
Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38,824
Experience: More than 30 years in legal practice.
Verified
Loren and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with an employment lawyerLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Loren Your Own Question
Loren
Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38,824
38,824 Satisfied Customers
Experience: More than 30 years in legal practice.

Loren is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care.

MildredWashington, DC

Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you

Happy CustomerDenver, CO

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Allen M., Esq.

Allen M., Esq.

Employment Lawyer

13,334 satisfied customers

Employment/Labor Law Litigation

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

12,490 satisfied customers

Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

12,478 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

JB Umphrey

JB Umphrey

Lawyer

6,273 satisfied customers

Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.

John

John

Employment Lawyer

4,029 satisfied customers

Exclusively practice labor and employment law.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

3,007 satisfied customers

I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.

ScottyMacEsq

ScottyMacEsq

Lawyer

2,893 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Employment Law Questions
I'm not sure if my case is worth Pursuing. I've documented
I've documented the situation and have emails to back things up but the company doesn't have an official hr department. The owner and the person I have the situation with is their acting he person … read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
Our organization, under a prior automatically renewed
Our organization, under a prior automatically renewed contractual agreement under which we were required to incorporate as a non-profit member organization of another (parent) incorporated internation… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
I have been a minority partner (17.5%) and co-founder of a
I have been a minority partner (17.5%) and co-founder of a software company 8 years. The company has grown from 3 to 33 employees. I have been working from home in Cleveland, OH from the beginning. I … read more
TexLaw
TexLaw
Attorney
Post-Doctoral Degree
4,347 satisfied customers
My boss informed me that a person who works for me has accused
My boss informed me that a person who works for me has accused me of something but she ( my boss) won't share the allegation with me until the company decided to conduct a formal investigation. A coup… read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
I was punished for an accident. While I was at fault, my employer
I was punished for an accident. While I was at fault, my employer made numerous slanderous comments, so I appealed the punishment, since it was these 'extras' that seemed to be the basis of the punish… read more
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,007 satisfied customers
I have been employed at my school district continuously since
I have been employed at my school district continuously since 2002. I teach 5th grade. Here are some of the problems I have encountered. In 2008, my principal ordered me to obtain counseling. I asked … read more
AlexiaEsq.
AlexiaEsq.
Managing Lawyer/Advocate
Doctoral Degree
37 satisfied customers
We operate an LLC company that has been in existence for 10
We operate an LLC company that has been in existence for 10 years. There is a controversy with regards XXXXX XXXXX classification and salary as follows: a. There are 3 employees who have accrued 10 ye… read more
hrguru206
hrguru206
HR Manager
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
298 satisfied customers
We live and work in Pa for a bakery that is located in NY.
We live and work in Pa for a bakery that is located in NY. They call us independent drivers, they pay us a commission on accounts that we deliver the bread to. My problem is we have to work 7 day's a … read more
JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey
Lawyer
Juris Doctor
6,273 satisfied customers
I have an 8 page document that I submitted to our corporate
I have an 8 page document that I submitted to our corporate office because of inaction on the part of a retail store manager. I escalated it to the Field HR Manager who in turn did not act on the info… read more
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq.
Juris Doctor (JD)
11,428 satisfied customers
Please review my statement. Do I have a liable claim for
Please review my statement. Do I have a liable claim for wrongful termination against Macy's? If so what do I need to do next? (I'm asking that you not post my Question or statement). Please keep in m… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
Well applying for a team lead position , my supervisor tried
Well applying for a team lead position , my supervisor tried to coarse me into investing money in to his buisness. It said the following: During this market cycle, we will be syndicating with other in… read more
MDLaw
MDLaw
Attorney
Post-Doctoral Degree
358 satisfied customers
I am one of a dozen top sales performers out of 300 in my co
I am one of a dozen top sales performers out of 300 in my company based out of Nashville TN--my sales territory is in MN. 2 years ago my current company aquired my former company that I had worked for… read more
MDLaw
MDLaw
Attorney
Post-Doctoral Degree
358 satisfied customers
My employer has me suspended due to my 1 1/2 month relationship
My employer has me suspended due to my 1 1/2 month relationship with my boyfriend and a rumor that I was a smoker? Can they do that?… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,490 satisfied customers
I own a casting agency for models etc and have been paying
I own a casting agency for models etc and have been paying a couple people to assist me and issuing a 1099. They do not have benefits and are not considered employees. They make their own schedule etc… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
I have included the termination clause of our distribution
I have included the termination clause of our distribution agreement with our US supplier. We are a distributor located in Canada, and have been distributing the US manufacturers products(they also bu… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
I signed an employment agreement in 1995 with a small bakery
I signed an employment agreement in 1995 with a small bakery goods manufacturer. One of the paragraphs states: During Employee's employment and for a period of two years after he ceases to be employed… read more
Cowgirl Lawyer
Cowgirl Lawyer
Attorney at Law
Juris Doctorate
1,266 satisfied customers
My husband was fired and charged with a crime he didnt do.
My husband was fired and charged with a crime he didn't do. I had to pay to produce evidence (a private forensic report) that showed he was innocent. Can we sue for legal demages?… read more
JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey
Lawyer
Juris Doctor
6,273 satisfied customers
this is just a small part of the letter there is a lot more
I have to admitt we have a problem. Since coming to work at KZ Golf I have been subjected to a series of unfair and completely unfounded accusations. This problem reached what I hope is a pinnacle las… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,478 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x