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updated: 3/29/2012 7:35 AM

Duffy plan would let Cancer Treatment Centers not hire smokers

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  • State Sen. Dan Duffy

      State Sen. Dan Duffy

 
 

SPRINGFIELD -- The Cancer Treatment Centers of America would be allowed to weigh whether someone is a smoker when they make hiring decisions under legislation approved in the Illinois Senate Wednesday.

The proposal, from state Sen. Dan Duffy, lets for-profit companies that only treat cancer patients not hire someone because they smoke or use other tobacco products.

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"That has an impact on people, when they go in (for treatment) and smell that smoke," the Lake Barrington Republican said.

Only Cancer Treatment Centers of America would be affected by the rule. Hospitals and other employers still could not discriminate against smokers when making hiring decisions because their sole business pursuit isn't treating cancer.

"Their sole mission is to cure cancer, not cause cancer," Duffy said of the Cancer Treatment Centers.

The Senate approved the plan by a 50-1 vote.

The only opponent was state Sen. Shane Cultra, a Republican from downstate Onarga, who said discrimination shouldn't be allowed.

"Why should you be able to discriminate against someone using a legal product in the United States?" Cultra said.

Duffy's proposal now moves to the Illinois House, where it could be debated next month.

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