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Stephanie Cannon: I Was Fired For Smoking At Home (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 07/27/12 11:45 AM ET Updated: 07/27/12 02:41 PM ET

One Minnesota woman is claiming that smoking a cigarette in the privacy of her own home cost her a job.

Stephanie Cannon was fired from her job as a receptionist at the Frauenshuh Cancer Center of Park Nicollet Health Services on the grounds that she smelled like smoke at work, KSTP-TV reports. Cannon is a regular, pack-a-day smoker, but she told the local ABC affiliate that she never brought her habit with her to work.

Six weeks into her job, Cannon's boss told her she could no longer show up to work smelling like smoke. Despite efforts to eliminate the smell from her clothing -- which she claims included bagging and spraying her clothing with air freshener before work -- the stench just wouldn't go away, and the hospital let her go.

So called "third-hand smoke," or the residue that remains on smokers' hair and clothing, has been shown to put infants and children that come in contact with it at risk, according to The New York Times.

Cannon isn't the only person to find herself out of a job for smoking in the privacy of her own home. Three EVAC paramedics in Volusia County, Florida, were fired last year after they were found in violation of the county's anti-nicotine policy, The Daytona Beach News-Journal report.

Many employers may not go so far as to fire their workers who smoke, but they can be penalized in other ways. Companies are increasingly requiring that employees who smoke, have high cholesterol or are overweight pay more for their health care, according to The NYT. In Michigan, several hospitals have recently started not offering a job to applicants who smoke or chew tobacco, according to MLive.

Local and state ordinances have made smoking in public places an increasingly rare spectacle too. Twenty-five states have placed a full ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and workplaces, the Orlando Sentinel reports. And 10 more states ban smoking in one of those three locations.

No state, however, bans smoking in the home for private-sector employees and Cannon told KTSP that she's speaking to an attorney. "What I do in my home or outside of work when I'm not punching into that little clock is what my business," she says. "I shouldn't have to be made like I'm a leper."

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  • Adding A Slice Of Cheese, Free Of Charge

    In 2009, a female Dutch McDonalds employee was fired after she gave a colleague a cheeseburger instead of the cheaper hamburger that had been paid for, <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/7080767/McDonalds-wrong-to-fire-worker-over-cheese-slice.html" target="_hplink"><em>The Telegraph</em> reports.</a> A Dutch court ruled that the firing was too severe a punishment and ordered McDonald's to pay the ex-employee the full salary for what were the remaining five-months on her contract, as well as legal fees.

  • Smelling Like Smoke

    Stephanie Cannon was fired from her reception job at the Frauenshuh Cancer Center of Park Nicollet Health Services on the grounds that she smelled like smoke at work, <a href="http://kstp.com/news/stories/S2703953.shtml?cat=1" target="_hplink">KSTP-TV reports</a>. Cannon is a regular, pack-a-day smoker who told the local ABC affiliate that she never brought her habit with her to work.

  • Battling Cancer

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/06/judy-henderson-home-depot_n_1861595.html?1346951029" target="_hplink">Home Depot fired Judy Henderson</a> in 2010 after she told the company that she would extend her sick leave because of a cancerous tumor. The company agreed to pay $100,000 to Henderson, who had worked at Home Depot since 1997.

  • Nearly 50-Year Old 'Stupid Stunt'

    Wells Fargo <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/richard-eggers-wells-fargo_n_1836441.html?1346169626" target="_hplink">fired Richard Eggers</a> from his job of nearly 7 years in July after discovering that he was caught putting a cardboard cutout of a dime in a laundromat washing machine nearly 50 years ago.

  • Getting Cancer

    Former Tuesday Morning CEO Kathleen Mason claimed that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/03/kathleen-mason-tuesday-morning_n_1738344.html?utm_hp_ref=business" target="_hplink">she was fired from her position after she disclosed to the company's board that she has cancer.</a> One board member even allegedly made fun of Ms. Mason's wig. Her charges are being taken to court as she sues her former employers for damages and reinstatement.

  • Eagles' Worker Fired For Facebook Update

    Philadelphia Eagles stadium operations worker Dan Leone was fired after he updated his Facebook status criticizing Eagles management for trading Brian Dawkins in 2009, <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10192227-71.html?tag=mncol;txt" target="_hplink">CNET reported.</a> Mr. Leone allegedly posted this: <blockquote>"Dan is ******* devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver...Dam Eagles are Retarded."</blockquote>

  • Sending EMAILS IN ALL-CAPS!

    In 2007, New Zealand resident Vicki Walker was fired from her job for sending emails in bold, red-underlined all-caps fonts, <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2009/09/01/new-zealand-woman-fired-sending-caps-e-mail/" target="_hplink">Fox News reports.</a> Walker was laterawarded $17,000 for wrongful termination.

  • Mocking Your Customers On Youtube

    Barista Christopher Cristwell was fired by Starbucks after he took his pent-up anger out on Youtube, <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2040748/Starbucks-sack-Christopher-Cristwell-YouTube-song-mocking-customers.html" target="_hplink"><em>The Daily Mail</em> reported.</a> Known as "The Starbucks Rant Song," Mr. Cristwell told his internet viewing audience that cappucino lovers were "the worst of all." A spokesman for Starbucks stated: <blockquote>'While Christopher was expressing his own views in the video, the disparaging remarks about our customers and company are unacceptable and out of line with our commitment to our customers and partners (employees).'</blockquote>

  • Being Too Fat

    Ronald Kratz II was fired from his job as a parts sorter after his employer determine that it interfered with his job performance, <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/28/worker-allegedly-fired-for-being-overweight/" target="_hplink">Fox News reports.</a> Following his dismissal, Katz filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and lost over 300 pounds.

  • Giving The President The Finger

    Russian newsreader Tatyana Limanova was let go after she gave President Obama the finger on live television, <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8918725/Russian-newsreader-fired-after-giving-Barack-Obama-finger-Firing-me-was-sense-of-humour-failure.html" target="_hplink"><em>The Telegraph</em> reports.</a> Limanova claims that the gesture was just a misunderstanding rather than an insult towards the leader of the free world.