Bill in Kentucky would allow employers to fire or refuse to hire smokers

Smoking stock photo (NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A bill in Kentucky would remove smokers from a protected class and allow employers to fire smokers because of their habit.

WDRB reported that the measure was pre-filed by Republican Kentucky State Sen. John Schickel on Thursday. The bill would allow companies to fire or not hire smokers.

Schickel said he wants to limit government and believes companies should largely be allowed to hire who they want.

“At this time in the state’s history to have smokers as a protected class is just ridiculous,” he said.

The measure does not affect other protections for race, religion, national origin, sex, age or disability.

Greater Louisville Inc. supports removing smokers as a protected class in its legislative agenda for next year, according to Alison Brotzge-Elder, a spokesperson for the organization.

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is also in favor of the measure.

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