Looks like Juul employees are letting their love of vaping cloud their judgment.
Earlier this year, the popular e-cigarette company banned vaping at most of its U.S. offices, citing state and local laws.
The company even threatened to dock bonuses to employees as punishment, but to no avail, according to one worker who compared the workplace to the 1960s-set TV drama “Mad Men.”
“Just replace the cigarettes with e-cigarettes,” the unnamed employee told The Wall Street Journal.
Juul founders Adam Bowen and James Monsees vaped often during staff meetings during the early days of the company, and it caught on with fellow staffers.
But things changed a year ago, after the company received inquiries from the city of San Francisco, where it is headquartered. That led Kevin Burns, Juul’s then-chief executive, to send an email announcing employees could no longer vape in the office.
“It may feel nonsensical to prohibit at-work use of the very products we work hard to create and promote,” Burns wrote. “But the bottom line is we need to comply with legal requirements the same as any company.”
Although Burns promised to set up an e-cigarette tent outside Juul’s San Francisco headquarters, it was never installed.
In June, the city became the first in the country to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes.
In September, Burns said that employees who habitually defied the office no-vaping rule could have bonuses docked and possibly be terminated.
Later in the month, Burns stepped down as CEO, saying the future of e-cigarettes was at risk because of “unacceptable levels of youth usage and eroding public confidence in our industry.”
Now that he’s gone, some employees ― including Bowen and Monsees ― continue to vape up a storm while others are more discreet, according to the Journal.
A Juul spokesperson sent a statement to HuffPost on the company’s workplace vaping:
“We remain committed to maintaining a smoke and vapor-free workplace in compliance with state and local laws. Our policy strictly prohibits vaping in our U.S. facilities where applicable law or lease agreements do not allow vaping. We take this commitment very seriously and take appropriate actions against violations.”
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