Saturday, August 25, 2012

Discriminatory Bill Shot Down by Illinois Governor...For Now..

 Thanks to Audrey Silk for posting this on Facebook via NYC CLASH-

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

3 comments:

  1. I consider myself to be a tobacco consumer - a legitimate consumer of a particular product just like other consumers of other legitimate products.

    I point this out only because to describe us as "tobacco users" plays into the hands of smokerphobics who really want to promote us as drug addicts like heroin users.

    I tend to avoid the trap of falling into using their abusive language.

    One can only hope that more politicians recognise that our group of consumers is being treated much less equally than other consumers including those of other "unhealthy" products like fizzy drinks, burgers, and alcohol.

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  2. I commented on this great piece but it might have gone into your spam box. Could you check? My email address was corrupted by that tobacco control industry stooge who was harassing bloggers a while ago. All the best Pat Nurse

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  3. ..Sorry Pat. We haven't had power/electricity for three days here in NOLA due to Hurricane Isaac; that's why your initial comment wasn't posted as promptly as usual. The only internet that I've had access to has been through my phone, which I've kept charged (thanks to a car charger). Posting from my phone is next to impossible and the service has been sloooooooooow as hell. Thanks to our friend who's rented a motel room in the Quarter, I'm now online for an hour or so. Ahhh, modern amenities!

    "My email address was corrupted by that tobacco control industry stooge who was harassing bloggers a while ago."

    Really? What happened?

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