Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed a bill that would have allowed the Cancer Treatment Centers of America to not hire any workers who smoke or use other types of tobacco.Thank you Governor Quinn. There is at least one politician in my home state that values privacy. What's really alarming however, is the fact that this bill made it expeditiously through both houses of the Illinois legislature.
The bill would have allowed Cancer Treatment Centers to screen prospective employees for tobacco as a condition of employment. Other hospitals and employers would not be able to discriminate against tobacco users when making hiring decisions because their sole business isn't treating cancer patients.
Had this bill been signed by Governor Quinn, it would have been ok to deny employment to tobacco users at such facilities that cater only to treating cancer patients. Apparently, the notion is that tobacco use (in all of its forms) has now been declared as the sole cause of all cancers! There are no other substances that can be attributed to cancer (sarcasm intended). Had this bill passed, would this not have also set a precedent that would have enabled such institutions to refuse employment to anyone that partakes in any activity anywhere that is either loosely or directly related to cancer? Anyone with an inkling of foresight should recognize the inconsistencies of this bill under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Yes, we still have a constitution. Hallelujah!
The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV. In other words, the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances. A violation would occur, for example, if a state prohibited an individual from entering into an employment contract because he or she was a member of a particular race. The equal protection clause is not intended to provide "equality" among individuals or classes but only "equal application" of the laws. The result, therefore, of a law is not relevant so long as there is no discrimination in its application. By denying states the ability to discriminate, the equal protection clause of the Constitution is crucial to the protection of civil rights.Oh, but of course there are those who are hell bent on ramming their agenda through, even at the expense of our precious civil liberties:
Cancer Treatment Center executives said the company is working with legislators to reintroduce the bill in the November and December veto session.
Of course they are. Maybe they should spend more time looking for a cure for cancer.
Quinn vetoes employment bill that targeted smokers - chicagotribune.com