MD Anderson installs tobacco-free hiring policy

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HOUSTON, Texas - The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center instated a tobacco-free hiring policy on Thursday with the start of the new year.

Under the new rules, all MD Anderson applicants will take a drug test.  Job seekers that test positive for tobacco use will not be eligible for immediate employment.

If the applicant still wants to work at the cancer center, MD Anderson will provide tobacco-cessation materials and instructions for getting help. The potential employee can then take another screening after following a waiting period of 180 days.

The new policy does not apply to employes who started at MD Anderson before 2015.

The rule is legal in the state of Texas and has been implemented at Memorial Hermann, Methodist Hospital and the Texas Medical Center.

"They're well within they're right to do what they're doing," labor and employment lawyer Katrina Patrick Horton said. "The bottom line is at will, if you want the job, you will submit to the terms and conditions that they have in place."

The new policy will affect potential executives, faculty and staff wishing to work at the cancer center.

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