Legislation Aimed at Employee Protection Introduced

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The controversial no smoking policy that prompted the firing of four women from Okemos based Weyco is front and center again, this time in Senate Chambers.

State Senator Virg Bernero introduced the Employee Privacy Protection Act Wednesday. If passed, the bill would prohibit employers from hiring or firing based on legal conduct outside of work unless it directly affects a job requirement.

The four women were terminated in January when they refused to take a test which would determine if they smoke cigarettes. Bernero's bill now goes to the Committee on Government Operations. Weyco's CEO calls the proposed legislation "a step backward."