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Fri April 27, 2012
Senators Reject Bill Removing Smoker Protection
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A bid to repeal a law that bans employers from discriminating against smokers has failed to win traction in the Legislature.
The repeal, sought by hospitals and health care leaders, was narrowly rejected in a 3-2 vote by the Senate labor committee amid concerns it could lead to widespread firings by employers.
More than 20 years ago, legislators passed a law protecting smokers from workplace discrimination.
Breaux Bridge Sen. Fred Mills and supporters of repealing the statute say smokers shouldn't expect employers and co-workers to bear the higher insurance costs to cover them. They pitched the bill as a way to improve health.
Opponents say employers shouldn't be able to fire someone for using a legal product.