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Okla. Pol: Bosses Should Be Able to Ax Smokers

David Holt trying to repeal law protecting smokers
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2013 12:06 PM CST
Okla. Pol: Bosses Should Be Able to Ax Smokers
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you're a smoker who lives in Oklahoma, watch out: Your boss may soon be able to fire you for the unhealthy habit, if one state senator has his way. Oklahoma currently has a law prohibiting employers from discriminating against smokers, but State Sen. David Holt has introduced a new bill that would repeal that protection and allow employers to make decisions about hiring, firing, and medical coverage based on smoking habits.

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"These are the kinds of protections you’d think we have for race and gender, not smokers," Holt tells KFOR. "Smokers cost [employers] money, particularly when they’re providing them medical benefits. ... Forcing employers to compensate or provide benefits to smokers at the exact same rates as they do their non-smoking employees [is] just not fair to employers." But, KFOR notes, the bill still needs to get through a committee before the Senate can vote on it, and an attorney predicts it will face quite a fight. (Read more David Holt stories.)

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