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Senators reject bill removing smoker protection

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Posted: Apr 26, 2012 3:01 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: Senators, Reject, Bill, Smoker, Protection

BATON ROUGE- 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.

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