The Commonwealth News Center, the official media center for the Kentucky Government reports that the Kentucky Human Rights Commission annual report was released yesterday:
As has been the case for all of its 49 years, the commission received the most discrimination complaints based on the protected classes of race and color. One-hundred-twenty-five people listed race and color as the reason they were victimized by discriminators. This was still lower than last year’s 158 race and color complaints.
The commission received 322 new cases this year out of which the majority of 82 contained allegations of discrimination based on race and color in employment.
Employment was the number one area in all new cases, with 228 people alleging they suffered discrimination in the workplace. The commission also received 47 complaints in the area of Housing and 47 in the area of Public Accommodations.
Other than race and color, complainants alleged illegal discrimination based on the protected classes of religion, national origin, sex, age (over 40), disability, familial status, and tobacco-smoking status. The last mentioned class is unique to Kentucky, and only one person alleged discrimination in the workplace because of being a smoker.
Yap, that's right; you cannot be fired for being a smoker.... but you can be fired for your sexual orientation or gender identity. The wonderful people at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights asked the Kentucky House and Senate to add sexual orientation and gender identity, but of course the Kentucky Senate will not allow anything remotely attached to the word "homosexual" pass into law. (see previous story about the Kentucky Senate)
A private employer may not refuse to hire, discharge, or discriminate against an individual because the individual is a smoker or nonsmoker, as long as the person complies with workplace policy concerning smoking. A private employer may not limit, segregate, or classify employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive an individual of employment opportunities because the individual is a smoker or nonsmoker, as long as the person complies with workplace policy concerning smoking. Additionally, a private employer may not require as a condition of employment that any employee or applicant for employment abstain from smoking or using tobacco products outside the course of employment, as long as the person complies with workplace policy concerning smoking.
Unbelievable. So I guess if I am fired for being gay, I'll just claim it was because I am smoker? But then, I would have to start smoking.