LANGUAGE

Grusendorf v. City of Oklahoma City, et al.

The plaintiff, a recently accepted firefighter trainee applicant with the Oklahoma City Fire Department (Department), was fired from his position after the Department discovered that he had taken roughly three puffs of a cigarette during his lunch break, despite signing a pre-employment agreement that he would not smoke a cigarette on or off duty for a period of one year. The plaintiff challenged his dismissal, claiming that it had violated his rights of liberty, privacy, property and due process protected under the Constitution. The district court for the Western District of Oklahoma dismissed the case. On appeal, the plaintiff maintained that his liberty and privacy rights included the right to smoke. The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit found that the rule did concern a fundamental liberty interest but that Oklahoma City had an interest in regulating the behavior of their employees and that the interest was strong enough to justify rational restrictions on the firefighter trainee's rights.