Bill would allow employers to discriminate against smokers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A state senator in Kentucky says companies should be allowed to discriminate against people who smoke.

Republican Sen. John Schickel of Union pre-filed his proposal this week. The bill would remove smokers from the protected classes outlined in Kentucky’s employment anti-discrimination law and allow employers to lawfully refuse to hire or terminate people who smoke.

Currently, state law protects smokers as long as the employee “complies with any workplace policy concerning smoking.” State law allows employers to offer stop-smoking incentives and a difference in employee contributions to an employer-sponsored health plan for smokers.

Schickel says smokers should not be a protected class.

The bill has not yet advanced in the Senate.

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