A D.C. Superior Court judge yesterday ruled that there are no laws or regulations that require employers in the city to provide smoke-free working areas to employes who are allergic to cigarette smoke.
Judge John F. Doyle dismissed a suit by Adel Gordon, a 34-year-old environmental sciences consultant, who said she was fired because of her allergy. Doyle ruled that her former employer, Raven Systems and Research Inc., had no contractual or legal obligation to accommodate her sensitivity to smoke.
Advocates of nonsmokers' rights, who had called the suit an important test case, expressed disappointment with the ruling. Gordon's suit was backed by an organization called Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), which promotes the rights of people who are sensitive to tobacco smoke.
Gordon's attorney, Harris Ammerman, said she probably will appeal the decision.
Doyle said there are city laws that prohibit smoking in public areas such as hospitals, buses and the selling areas of retail stores, but no law bans smoking in either public or private office buildings. He said it would be inappropriate for him to intervene in environmental matters best handled by government agencies or legislatures.
Gordon sued Raven for reinstatement, back pay and alleged mental anguish after being fired from her $14,500-a-year job in September 1979. She said she was fired after insisting on a smoke-free working area.
The company countered that Gordon was fired because of poor job performance and that it did not own or control the building where she worked.