Non Nicotine Hiring Policy

When did this policy go into effect?

St. Luke’s University Health Network began screening all applicants for nicotine on May 1, 2010.

Is this policy for all Network entities?

Yes, with the exception of New Jersey-based positions, which may include the Warren Campus and any NJ-based physician practices.

Is screening for nicotine use legal?

Yes, in Pennsylvania. Users of nicotine are not in a legally protected class. Non-nicotine hiring policies are legal in 20 states including Pennsylvania. In 1987 a Federal Appeals Court ruled that smokers are not a “protected class” entitled to special legal protections and that courts need no further rationale than the Surgeon General’s warning on cigarette cartons: Cigarette smoking is hazardous to your health.

How are applicants tested for nicotine?

The testing is part of the urine drug screen done at the time of the pre-employment physical. Nicotine test results are on a pass/fail basis.

If an applicant fails the screening for nicotine, can he/she reapply for employment at St. Luke’s? If so, when?

Yes. Applicants can re-apply 60 days after they have failed the nicotine screen.

Why the focus on smokers?

The health risks and related costs associated with nicotine use have caused St. Luke’s to focus on this in its initiative to have a healthier workforce and to contain the costs of providing health care benefits to its employees and their dependents.

What could cause a positive nicotine result on the screening?

Any substance that contains nicotine will produce a positive result. In addition to cigarettes, this would include chewing tobacco, snuff, nicotine patch, nicotine gum, cigars, etc.

Can individuals have a re-test?

No. Only individuals who produce a dilute urine sample are retested as part of the pre-employment screening process. Retesting must be done within 24 hours of the original sample being given. If a second sample is also dilute, the job offer is rescinded.

Does second hand smoke produce a positive result?

When testing for nicotine, the lab has built in levels that would take into account the possibility of second hand smoke. Therefore, a positive result will mean the individual who tested positive is a nicotine user.

If a current employee terminates employment with St. Luke’s and then re-applies, will they be subject to the new screening?

Yes, anyone completing the pre-employment physical process after May 1, 2010 for Pennsylvania-based positions will be tested for nicotine.

Will any smoking cessation resources be provided to the applicants that fail the screening?

Yes, a listing of smoking cessation resources will be provided to any applicant who tests positive for nicotine.

How long does nicotine stay in your system?

The length of time nicotine stays in the system varies. Some of the variables include length of time a person has been smoking, number of cigarettes smoked, type of cigarette, depth and duration of inhalation, difference in the way each person’s body breaks down the nicotine, etc. Nicotine can stay in the system up to 30 days or more. It can even take weeks longer until the nicotine is depleted from the fat in the body.

How much do I have to smoke/chew in order to test positive?

Smoking one cigarette can produce a positive result depending on when the urine sample is taken.

Why is St. Luke’s doing this?

St. Luke’s is committed to having a healthier workforce and containing healthcare expenses.


External Candidate

What if I lost my password and cannot log into Workday?

Click on the link that says “Forgot Password” and it will be emailed to you. We are unable to re-set passwords in Human Resources.

How do I apply to a specific position?

You may search for jobs using the search box, or by job category, location, job type, or full/part time. Once you find a job that you are interested in, click on the requisition, which will list the job responsibilities and requirements.

If you wish to submit an application for the position, click on the orange Apply box, and follow the instructions to complete your application. Please remember to go back a minimum of seven (7) years in employment history. You will be asked a series of questions towards the end of the application.

How can I be sure you received my application?

You will receive an email notification from us ( that will indicate your application has been received. (Please note that the email notification frequently goes to a spam file.) If you do not receive this email notification, your application has not been received. You will also see the position listed on your Candidate Account, under “My Applications,” and you can continue to check your application status there.

If I submit one application, will I be considered for multiple openings?

No, you must “apply” to each specific opening that you are interested in. Each opening is tied to a particular job or requisition number and you must apply to that specific opening to receive full employment consideration. You may search for jobs using the search box, or by job category, location, job type, or full/part time.

How long will it be before I hear from someone?

We receive over 100,000 applications per year from both internal and external applicants. Sometimes it takes a few weeks to review and interview any potential internal applicants.

Will I be contacted directly after I submit my application?

Based on the high volume of candidates, we will only contact the candidates who are selected for an interview. You can continue to check the “My Applications” section of your Candidate Account to review your status.

How will I be contacted?

You may be contacted by either phone or email. Be sure to list your preferred contact phone number and an email address that is checked regularly so that we may get in touch with you.

I received a phone call after submitting my application telling me I need to complete an assessment. What does this mean?

This means you are being considered for the next step in our application process. You are being asked to complete an important assessment so we can evaluate your alignment with our values and culture. This is our Customer CARE Assessment.

The information that I originally put on my application has changed. How do I update an application?

Once an application is submitted, it cannot be changed. If you are called for an interview, please be sure to bring along all updated information. Then, on subsequent applications, make sure the updated information is included.