Smokers to have a hard time finding a decent job in Florida
Palm Beach County Tax Commissioner, Anne Gannon, has revealed her decision to stop hiring smokers. Last Wednesday, Mrs. Gannon admitted that she would not recruit any employee for a permanent work position because the tax collectors puffing near the entrance appall the local taxpayers whose money are used to treat smoking-related diseases in the county’s hospitals.
According to the head of Tax Collection Agency, the smokers currently employed among the agency’s 240 personnel would not be laid off, but requested to get rid of their vicious habit. Nevertheless, the smokers would have to pay more for their insurances, since the deduction would be up to 20 percent of their bonuses. At the same time, Gannon claimed her primary objective is to prevent the further growth of expenses on health insurance and encourage less harmful working environment.
Taxpayers have to fork up approximately $2.5 million every year on health insurance to the Tax Collection Office, a cost that saw a twofold increase during the recent years, according to statistics cited by Gannon. Candidates should sign a written confirmation that they don’t light up and enclose to other documents required for application, according to the new ordinance.
Gannon admitted she thinks that treating smoking-related illnesses is a principal cause of increasing costs of health care, so every individual is entitled to decide whether to kick down smoking and get a nice job or keep lighting up and be unemployed, since the taxpayers should not spend their hard-earned money to treat smokers. The Tax Collector mentioned that her parents suffer from smoking-related illnesses.
Adversaries of the policy state that it infringes personal freedoms stipulated in the Constitution. The rules are totally discriminating, said Rep. Sid Dinerstein, chairman of local Republican Party. “If she carps at her workers since they are puffin, she will carp at those employees who like soda and pizza, because the unhealthy food also triggers many health complications. … We can even submit a list of obligations and rules to force people to comply with them; however, the most important thing is that people have the right to make his own decisions.”
At the same time, various anti-smoking groups, who apropos are also funded by the taxpayers’ money, declared that denying smokers a workplace is a reasonable policy that could not be challenged since it is not a constitutional right and in addition, costs nearly $100 billion annually spent on smoking-related illnesses treatment.
Fifteen years ago, North Miami became the first county across the nation to permit employing only non-smokers.
Also in Florida, smokers can’t get become the police officers or firefighters, as it is prohibited in Boca Raton City.
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