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A New Work Ethic: Old Smoke

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A New Work Ethic: Old Smoke

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  • October 2011
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Grace Pineda-Blasco
Professor Gary Maxa
Business Ethics – BUS 309
STRAYER University – Doral campus

The federal law does not regulate smoking in the workplace. Most states in the union as well as local governments and corporations have taken the necessary steps in order to control smoking. Many governments have opted for requiring companies to provide a smoke-free work area for employees who desire it; however, it does not forced companies to ban smoking all together.

Results from the most recent studies indicate that exposure of non-smokers to tobacco smoke can cause serious or life threatening health conditions such as lung cancer. Although statistics proof that smoking in the work place is more dangerous than beneficial there are many organizations that still fight for the smoker’s rights leaving corporations and their management teams with a very controversial subject to address as they need to protect both the non-smoking employee as well as the smokers. This issue is addressed in the case study “Old Smoke” where a non-smoking employee – Darlene Lambert - refuses to complete a required task based on the fact she has to exposed to an area contaminated with a smoke from two of her co-workers. Her supervisor - Charles Renford - has to face the challenge of a crucial decision making between protecting Dalene’s health or complying with a report due date even it this means exposing Darlene to second hand smoking or asking the other employees to quit.


1. Explain how you would handle this situation if you were Charles Renfold. As Darlene’s immediate supervisor and in order to make the correct decision in reference to allowing (or not) Darlene Lambert not to work in the files room Charles needs to make sure he will be in compliance with corporate policy but also with local and state government laws in reference to smoking in the work-place.

Although Darlene is not considered to be a disabled...

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