Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
After gaining international attention for a plan to stop hiring smokers, the City of Fort Worth appears to be ready to get rid of the idea. If the City Council goes along with the recommendation, the idea of not hiring smokers will be dead.
FORT WORTH, TX (Catholic Online) - "Our research indicates that very few public or private employers have changed their hiring practices to exclude tobacco users," said Jason Lamers, chief of staff for Mayor Betsy Price and the City Council. "The preferred approach, and we concur, is to provide employees assistance in tobacco-cessation and disease management."
Smokers will still be able to apply for jobs, however the city may consider establishing smoke-free campuses and perimeters around buildings. The suggestion came from the mayor's Big Idea Challenge, which pushed city employees to suggest ways to save money. Six ideas were chosen and the winners split a $5,000 cash prize donated by the Community Trust Bank.
Already, twenty-nine states have laws protecting smokers, in response to the bans by private companies on hiring smokers. Locally, the 19,000-employee Baylor Health Care System's policy of not hiring smokers went into effect on Jan. 1 and has not had a decrease in job applications. The policy came from the inspiration from a Fort Worth city employee who suggested the idea in the program to promote money-saving ideas.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.