CHICAGO

Smoker Hiring Ban Approved By Illinois State Senate For Cancer Treatment Centers

03/31/2012 12:53 pm ET

A bill passed almost unanimously in the Illinois State Senate Wednesday would allow the Cancer Treatment Centers of America to discriminate against people who smoke or use other tobacco products when making hiring decisions.

The legislation, introduced by Sen. Dan. Duffy (R-Lake Barrington), would only apply to for-profit companies that treat cancer patients exclusively, where he says smoking habits of staff members "ha[ve] an impact on people, when they go in" for treatment, the Daily Herald reports.

Illinois became "smoke-free" starting on January 1, 2008, following statewide legislation intended to minimize secondhand smoke exposure risks. Although most businesses cannot legally permit smoking indoors, the state does not currently allow tobacco use to be a factor considered when making hiring decisions.

The bill will now advance to the sate House, where it could be debated within the next month.

The privately-held Cancer Treatment Centers of America is headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., and has several thousand employees, according to their company profile.

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