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Question of the day

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012

* This bill passed the Senate yesterday 50-1

The Cancer Treatment Centers of America would be allowed to weigh whether someone is a smoker when they make hiring decisions under legislation approved in the Illinois Senate Wednesday.

The proposal, from state Sen. Dan Duffy, lets for-profit companies that only treat cancer patients not hire someone because they smoke or use other tobacco products.

“That has an impact on people, when they go in (for treatment) and smell that smoke,” the Lake Barrington Republican said.

Only Cancer Treatment Centers of America would be affected by the rule. Hospitals and other employers still could not discriminate against smokers when making hiring decisions because their sole business pursuit isn’t treating cancer. […]

The only opponent was state Sen. Shane Cultra, a Republican from downstate Onarga, who said discrimination shouldn’t be allowed.

* The Question: Should state law be changed to allow Cancer Treatment Centers of America to refuse to hire tobacco users? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

76 Comments
  1. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 11:57 am:

    All employers should be able to refuse to hire someone who smokes, in my opinion.

    There are obvious productivity and health care costs for the employer.


  2. - kerfuffle - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:01 pm:

    I understand the sentiment but it is a slippery slope that I don’t think we want to start going down.


  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:05 pm:

    No, If we want to make tobacco products illegal, then let’s just do it.


  4. - Commonsense in Illinois - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:06 pm:

    As introduced, this is pretty close to “special Legislation” and could face a court challenge. If the idea is a great one for CTCA, it’s a great idea for universal application. Of course, then there’s that pesky concern that public policy allows discrimination for someone doing something that is otherwise perfectly legal.


  5. - TCB - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:08 pm:

    No way…. these companies should hire the person most qualified for the job, not the person who smells the best or has the healthiest lungs.

    Should hospitals be allow to refuse to hire any heart surgeon who has diabetes? Or weight problems?

    Seems to me that this is an example of smoker discrimination….this coming from person who despises cigarettes & the toll they take on one’s health.


  6. - TCB - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:09 pm:

    @Anon 12:05

    The state would never ban smoking, unless they could come up with a way to replace the revenues that would be lost, no matter how dangerous smoking is.


  7. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:15 pm:

    @Commonsense -

    Illinois is an “at-will” employment state.

    Unless otherwise prohibited by law, you can already refuse to hire or fire someone for pretty much any reason.

    There is no slippery slope, we’re already at the bottom of the hill.

    Frankly, I’m not exactly sure this legislation is NEEDED, per se.

    Put the question on your questionnaire: “Do you currently, or have you ever, smoked cigarettes or cigars. If so, please explain.”

    You can always fire someone for lying on their job application.


  8. - Irish - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:18 pm:

    No, they should not be allowed to discriminate. If their performance is affected then get rid of them based on that. I know of a lot of smokers who can outwork non smokers. This would be akin to allowing pork producers to not hire people of Jewish descent.

    Assumptions are made that might not be true when this type of action is allowed. The same assumptions were made of groups in the past. It was assumed that women could not handle certain kinds of work so they were discriminated against. This action makes the assumptions that a smoker will be more costly to the company. May or may not be true. Are diabetics next? Then who?

    Cancer Center of America can keep their campus smoke free and probably does. There should be no smell of smoke unless it is coming off the clothes of the smoker. And that can be addressed in another way.


  9. - Bigtwitch - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:21 pm:

    Just repeal the “Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act.” It is the only thing that makes this cognizable discrimination.

    (820 ILCS 55/5) (from Ch. 48, par. 2855)
    Sec. 5. Discrimination for use of lawful products prohibited.
    (a) Except as otherwise specifically provided by law and except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this Section, it shall be unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise disadvantage any individual, with respect to compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because the individual uses lawful products off the premises of the employer during nonworking hours.
    (b) This Section does not apply to any employer that is a non-profit organization that, as one of its primary purposes or objectives, discourages the use of one or more lawful products by the general public. This Section does not apply to the use of those lawful products which impairs an employee’s ability to perform the employee’s assigned duties.


  10. - Infidel - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:22 pm:

    Would you hire someone to build you a house if their own house looked like crap? Would you hire a personal trainer who obviously had a weight problem? I sure wouldn’t.

    If you’re a private organization, you should be able to hire people who uphold your group’s values. I don’t even see why this is an issue.


  11. - Chevy owner/Ford County - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:25 pm:

    Yellow Dog, don’t get too carried away with at “at-will” law (every state in the union is “at will”–Montana being the “with-cause” exception. Illinois also has a “Lawful Product” law that prohibits discrimination against employees’ (or potential employees’) off duty use of a lawful product (tobacco/alchol/etc.). Unless the proposed law is passed, CTCA would be on very shaky ground asking such a question on their application.

    An employer that tries to sheild their action with “at will” may as well try to shield themselves with swiss cheese. At-will has as many holes in it.


  12. - D.P. Gumby - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:26 pm:

    I agree w/ bigtwitch.


  13. - Wensicia - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:27 pm:

    No, should heavy coffee drinkers be banned from working around ADHD students?


  14. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:29 pm:

    Does this set the precedent for similar arguments against hiring obese individuals?


  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:35 pm:

    @Chevy Owner:

    Not often I get to say this, but here goes:

    “You’re right, I was wrong.”


  16. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    Thanks, BTW, for pointing me to this section.

    As I read the statute, BTW, faith-based organizations that discourage the use of contraception can refuse to hire someone who uses birth control.


  17. - The KQ - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:45 pm:

    No! Tobacco is legal. If anything, they should hire smokers and let them see what their future holds. I know after seeing my mom in the hospital just after her heart bypass, which was caused from smoking, my borther in law quit smoking on the spot.


  18. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    Too many laws…


  19. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:47 pm:

    Dan Duffy? Really. That sounds like a Cullerton bill.


  20. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 12:50 pm:

    If their employees keep smoking they’ll eventually be patients. So it seems like this will work itself out on its own.

    The great thing about smoking is it takes the mystery out of how you’ll die.


  21. - Dirty Red - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:02 pm:

    Of all the things to give a s**t about, this is on the list? We begged you to find a better issue than red light cameras, Dan Duffy. Keep looking.


  22. - mokenavince - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    As a private company they should have the right to
    hire who they please.


  23. - amalia - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:12 pm:

    The bigger question is whether this legislation makes it look like CTCA is doing something different or better than other medical centers that treat cancer. from what I understand, CTCA should be more concerned with their actual treatment than with appearances. The legislation makes them look as if they are doing more when in reality it’s a pr move sanctioned by the state if the legislation is passed. They are not nearly the best cancer treatment facility in the state.


  24. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:22 pm:

    Is this really about patients smelling smoke?

    Or is this about a company that doesn’t want to pay higher employee insurance premiums that go with having an employee that’s a smoker so they want the opportunity to exclude the hiring of smokers ahead of time?

    Surely not every person who works at CTCA has contact with patients. What about say a secretary in the billing department who doesn’t have any interaction with patients at all?

    And I agree with Anon @ 12:29 that the same logic behind this bill would also justify discrimination against obese people in hiring.


  25. - lincoln's beard - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:22 pm:

    Can’t they just ask for a Facebook password and check to see if there are any pictures of the job applicant smoking or drinking or engaging in other risky behavior like holding hands or listening to rock music?


  26. - Ahoy - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:26 pm:

    No, I don’t think it should be singled out. I’m also no tsure it should be allowed for anybody, what would be next? Weight limites or BMI maximums?


  27. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:27 pm:

    CTCA has a legitimate argument, and they’re not making it on the cost of the employee. Many of their patients probably have lung or throat cancer and are trying to give up smoking as part of their treatment plan.

    But it sure looks like legislation targeted at one company. Why focus on for-profit? Why not also allow any not-for-profit engaged in the same specialized cancer care?


  28. - Just the Facts - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:28 pm:

    I voted no because this is very close to the line of being special legislation. Also, there are other behaviors in addition to smoking that could lead to an increased cancer risk.

    Finally, is this legislation needed? Employment law isn’t my area of practice so perhaps someone who practices in this area could weigh in on why this legislation would be necessary to authorize discrimination against smokers.


  29. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:36 pm:

    === As a private company they should have the right tohire who they please.===

    Is this snark? Surely it must be, or you haven’t given any thought whatsoever to the reality of racial/sex/religious/etc. discrimination.


  30. - Shore - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:37 pm:

    I think it’s funny the bill passed 50-1 and yet is unfavored by the blog commenters.

    I voted no.

    Under this law then-why can’t gyms weigh how fat someone is when considering them for a job there even as a receptionist? (good luck there) or an anti-gun group if someone owns a firearm? or a school if someone is an excessive drinker?

    you can’t deny someone a job for doing something legal in their free time.


  31. - Earnest - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:38 pm:

    I voted no. If the purpose is to address employees of those centers smelling like smoke, it doesn’t necessarily address the issue. What about non-smokers who live with smokers?


  32. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    Oh, and I voted no. If they want to prohibit smoking by employees on their property, fine. But what I do on my own time away from the office is none of my employer’s business.


  33. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:50 pm:

    I think amalia raises an interesting point, could this be just a marketing gimmick that the Senate is abetting?


  34. - Robert0117 - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:53 pm:

    My only issue is that it is special legislation. It should be broadened to any Health Care Facility dealing with lung and respiratory illnesses.


  35. - Freedom - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 1:55 pm:

    What happened to freedome in this country? Why does the government have to get its claws into everything? A private employer should be able to make hring & firing decisions for any reasson, except illegal discrimination proscribed in the Human Rights Act.


  36. - mark walker - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 2:14 pm:

    Only non-drinkers hired at alcohol and drug rehab facilities?

    It just goes too far. I thought Duffy was a big “freedom” guy.


  37. - In 630 - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 2:20 pm:

    It seems to me that CTCA would be able to screen out employees/would be employees whose tobacco use (and the odor that accompanies those who use it) creates an issue for patients even under the “lawful product” law as the use would be impairing job performance.

    And for the rest- an employer their size doubtless knows how to manipulate employee performance reviews to make even dubious reasons for getting rid of someone seem fair.

    CTCA seems very branding conscious- it wouldn’t surprise me at all if this were a way for them to add a line to their ads and materials about having a completely smoke-free workforce.


  38. - Stop at that light Senator! - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 2:32 pm:

    I think Duffy takes campaign bucks from Cancer Center owners or from the company directly! Would this be his first bill to get a positive vote?

    On way to check his D-2’s!


  39. - East Sider - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 2:43 pm:

    I think all employers should be able to discriminate during the hiring process when it comes to tobacco use.


  40. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 3:17 pm:

    Just so I understand:

    1. Republicans don’t think government should be able to force people to eat their broccoli.

    2. Republicans think that private companies should be able to force people to eat their broccoli.


  41. - amalia - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 3:27 pm:

    surely Mike Madigan is too smart to let the House vote for this marketing campaign ploy, right?


  42. - Responsa - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 3:36 pm:

    YDD–perhaps I am missing something, but did the Senate vote –or today’s informal vote on this blog– break hard along the party lines you appear try to force fit @ 3:17?

    (Please excuse me if I am misinterpreting the point of your post.)


  43. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 3:36 pm:

    State Farm just called.

    They want to be able to refuse to hire people who don’t wear their seatbelts and change the batteries in their smoke detectors twice per year.


  44. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 3:53 pm:

    I voted no because this is special legislation and it includes all tobacco products, not just smoking. Not all tobacco products have the same health risks or produce odors. Not all tobacco products have even been invented yet and we can’t predict what will be developed in the future.

    Not everybody who smokes does so regularly, and this would treat 3 pack a day smokers the same as someone who has two or three cigarettes on the weekend with some brews. It would also treat people that use snus or e-cigarettes on their own time the same as the 3 pack a day smoker.

    This just re-enforces the false notion that all tobacco is equally bad, when it is not. In fact, nicotine has some positive aspects and is found in others plants besides tobacco, like lettuce. Nicotine stimulates the production of dopamine, which people with Parkinsons, movement disorders, brain injuries, etc. can find some relief from.

    That said, as a tobacco user myself, I have no problem with them refusing to employ cigarette smokers and think it would be silly to fine or punish them for implementing such a policy. This is not a good way to accomplish that.


  45. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 4:01 pm:

    @StopAtThatLightSenator!

    Just some brief looking around, could be more (don’t know how much)…

    Mayo, Robert
    1336 Basswood Rd.

    Schaumburg, IL 60173
    Occupation: Executive
    Employer: Cancer Treatment Centers of America $200.00
    6/29/2009
    Individual Contribution
    Committee to Elect Dan Duffy

    Mayo, Robert
    1336 Basswood Rd.

    Schaumburg, IL 60173
    Occupation: Executive
    Employer: Cancer Treatment Centers of America
    $1,000.00
    3/6/2009 Individual Contribution
    Committee to Elect Dan Duffy

    Mayo, Robert
    1336 Basswood Rd.

    Schaumburg, IL 60173 $100.00
    8/10/2009 Individual Contribution
    Committee to Elect Dan Duffy

    Mayo, Robert
    1336 Basswood Rd.
    Schaumburg, IL 60173 $100.00
    11/24/2009 Individual Contribution
    Committee to Elect Dan Duffy

    Mayo, Robert
    1336 Basswood Rd.
    Schaumburg, IL 60173
    Occupation: Executive
    Employer: Cancer Treatment Centers of America $1,000.00
    8/28/2008
    Individual Contribution
    Committee to Elect Dan Duffy

    Conway, John and Angelika
    912 Sylviawood Ave.

    Park Ridge, IL 60068-2267
    Occupation: Senior Vice President
    Employer: Cancer Treatment Centers of America $750.00
    11/25/2007 Individual Contribution
    Committee to Elect Dan Duffy

    Staren, Edgar D. & Lisa H.
    537 East Center Ave.

    Lake Bluff, IL 60044
    Occupation: Chief Medical Officer
    Employer: Cancer Treatment Centers of America $750.00
    12/1/2007 Individual Contribution
    Committee to Elect Dan Duffy

    If you do an address search for their Schaumburg location, they’ve given at least 20 times to the Lake County Republican Federation/Lake County Republican Central Committee. And Duffy’s locale of Lake Barrington is in Lake County, right?


  46. - dupage dan - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 4:31 pm:

    Jeff Trigg @3:53 pm,

    Are you the Marlboro man?


  47. - Anonymous ZZZ - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 4:33 pm:

    I didn’t realize they needed legislation to “allow” them to refuse to hire smokers. Doesn’t the American Cancer Society already have a “no-smoker” hiring policy? What’s the difference? Is it because the ACS is non-profit that they’re allowed to do it?


  48. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 4:38 pm:

    So their corp file listed the president as Banner and not Bonner so I missed this:

    Bonner, Stephen
    1847 N. Dayton St.

    Chicago, IL 60614
    Employer: Good Faith Effort Made $750.00
    11/26/2007 Individual Contribution
    Committee to Elect Dan Duffy

    MORE:

    Stephenson, Richard
    125 Buckley Rd.
    Barrington Hills, IL 60010
    Occupation: Chariman
    Employer: CTCA

    Stephenson, Richard
    125 Buckley Rd.
    Barrington Hills, IL 60010
    Occupation: Chariman
    Employer: CTCA $1,000.00
    3/6/2009 Individual Contribution
    Committee to Elect Dan Duffy

    Stephenson, Richard
    125 Buckley Rd.
    Barrington Hills, IL 60010
    Occupation: Chariman
    Employer: CTCA $1,000.00
    8/24/2010 Individual Contribution
    Committee to Elect Dan Duffy


  49. - dupage dan - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 4:40 pm:

    Legislation aimed at a single person, entity or company is as bad as company policy aimed at a single person. Not a good idea. Watch all the other special interests come out of the woodwork now. Sheesh. Now for my break. Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.

    I wish I could figure out how to link that great old song “Smoke, Smoke Smoke (that Cigarette). Choose the original by Tex Williams or my favorite, Commander Cody! Find them all on YouTube.


  50. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 4:40 pm:

    That first Stephenson donation to Duffy was supposed to be:
    $1,000.00
    11/27/2007

    OK I’m done now.


  51. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 4:40 pm:

    dupage dan - Nope. Not a fan of big tobacco or big taxes. I prefer Daughters & Ryan or Peter Stokkebye pipe tobacco. Yakama Indian Nation has decent, cheaper alternatives also.


  52. - JustaJoe - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 5:02 pm:

    I voted yes. As a business entity, it should be allowed to hire the people whom it determines are best for its business. As for smokers in particular, sure, it should be able to exclude them. Patients (and other employees)can easily smell the residue, the behavior sends the wrong message to patients, and certain smokers will take more frequent breaks to feed their habit. We have to stop thinking that everything creates a protected class. Geez.


  53. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 5:03 pm:

    @Responsa-

    Nope, you didn’t miss a thing except the bloated hypocrisy of the GOP.

    As a Democrat, I’ve always been a big supporter of broccoli.

    The significant change from the Duffy bill, I think, is the argument that the Cancer Center, a for-profit company, exists to stop cancer.

    Last time I checked, for-profit corporations exist for one reason and one reason only. And it aint to “create jobs” or “stop cancer.” its to make money.

    Its like Gucci arguing they exist to prevent nakedness.


  54. - Sunshine - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 5:05 pm:

    No.

    What next, only fat people are permitted to work in pork processing plants; only people with nose hair can work in tweezers manufacturing plants?

    Good grief, if we wanted only smart honest politicians in office, we could ban everyone else….and that would leave us with very, very few choices.


  55. - JustaJoe - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 5:07 pm:

    PS. But, as one commenter noted, legislation for a single party is bad public policy; and I didn’t realize that we even needed such legislation. So, create legislation that makes further legislation on this unnecessary.


  56. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 5:21 pm:

    They can tell people they can’t smoke on work property. They can charge smokers more for their insurance (I’m assuming they are a non-union workplace). But they can’t tell people they can’t indulge in a legal substance as long as they aren’t at work.


  57. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 5:31 pm:

    @Cheryl44 -

    I’ll go one further…I think they can order anyone who smells like smoke to go home and change.


  58. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 6:06 pm:

    I voted no. Furthermore, I think that if legislators’ and their families’ insurance premiums are paid in part (even indirectly) by the taxpayers, legislators who smoke should be booted out of office immediately because it costs the taxpayers more. Same goes for anything else that has the potential to raise their insurance rates, including age (though we will not call that “discrimination,” of course).

    Same goes for being unwilling or unable to vote because it shows that they’re “unproductive”.
    And, we should take a look at what government services can be off-shored and taken over by Visa workers to reduce the State’s and Nation’s costs.

    Also, if a politician or anyone working on the politician’s behalf ever lies about himself or makes an “honest mistake” on his expense reports–either while campaigning or in office, he, too, should be booted out of office immediately.

    And, if there’s a politician who follows the rules, but we just plain “don’t like him”, we should follow In 630’s advice and “manipulate their performance reviews to make even dubious reasons for getting rid of someone seem fair” because we’re obviously a large enough employer.

    In other words, I think that what applies to private sector employees should apply to the greatest extent possible to officials and their staff. It will help keep them “grounded” and aware of how their votes pertaining to employment in the private sector impacts your average citizen–and most, importantly, it will enable the States and the Nation to keep their “overhead” and our taxes low.

    (That’s snark, but not really.)


  59. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 6:11 pm:

    =I’ll go one further…I think they can order anyone who smells like smoke to go home and change.=

    Yes! And make sure that their HR policy manual–like many others–has a clause in there that states that if an employee is ever told to go home because of “inappropriate dress,” the employer reserves the right to terminate them an hour later when they’ve returned to the office.

    (Is that how it’s done, In 630?)


  60. - Adam Smith - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 6:17 pm:

    No. It is special legislation obviously bought by big donations to the self-righteous Duffy.

    Like his other far-right friends, he’s always frothing at the mouth about things like red light cameras that are a sign of big brother intervention, but throw some cash his way and he’s all for government getting in our business.

    What a flaming hypocrite!


  61. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 6:18 pm:

    Oh, and starting tomorrow, we should implement “360 degree” feedback for elected officials and their staff that will allow any and all citizens–even if they were unaware of the elected official until they received their 360 degree survey–to “evaluate” the official and their staff. Then we’ll feed the numbers into a system and those with low ratings, will be booted out immediately as well because they’re “popularity ratings” are low even though they’re productivity may be high.

    (Gosh. I obviously missed my calling. I should have been an HR rep for a large corporation.)


  62. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 6:24 pm:

    Sorry. That should have been “…’evaluate’ the official and their staff anonymously…”–just the way it’s done in the private sector!


  63. - Wensicia - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 6:26 pm:

    Before my husband passed away from cancer (last year), many at my job would comment on the smell from his cigarettes on some of my clothes. I’d hate to think I could lose my position, which supported my family at the time and since, due to his addiction. I think the price he paid was more than enough for our family.


  64. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 6:28 pm:

    ==And, if there’s a politician who follows the rules, but we just plain “don’t like him”, we should follow In 630’s advice and “manipulate their performance reviews to make even dubious reasons for getting rid of someone seem fair” because we’re obviously a large enough employer.==

    And to “show” how fair we are in implementing this type of behavior, let’s spend lots of money on “diversity” training to show how “tolerant” we are as an organization…and so that we can use that as a defense when one of those “nuisance” discrimination suits is brought against us!


  65. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 6:40 pm:

    ==And, we should take a look at what government services can be off-shored and taken over by Visa workers to reduce the State’s and Nation’s costs.==

    We can start with Communications people. Double “value add”. Off-shore workers will generate their press releases, update their blogs, send out newsletters, etc. at 25% of current costs (minus benefits) AND be able to work on them in a different time zone so that everything’s ready for release when the official returns to work the next morning.

    Plus, “plausible deniability” is built into the solution, decreasing the risk of the official losing his job if ever caught in a lie, because he can always claim a “lost in translation” error.


  66. - NIref - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 6:47 pm:

    But this is the free market that the Tea Party wants, right?


  67. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 6:50 pm:

    =But this is the free market that the Tea Party wants, right?=

    Yes…but a “free market” grounded in ethics and patriotism. Just like the good days.


  68. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 6:51 pm:

    Sorry…”good OLD days.”


  69. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 6:53 pm:

    Thus, a free market that was able to function in–and justify–decreased regulation.


  70. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 7:10 pm:

    “But this is the free market that the Tea Party wants, right?”

    No. This is for one employer only, hardly a market. This is crony capitalism, special rules for a select few.


  71. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 10:09 pm:

    If this IS a “marketing plan” as some are speculating, that’s REALLY disgusting. Possible short-term benefits…for them…without even a thought as to the precedent this could set for the workforce.

    Hail, Marketers! Like I said, a 25% reduction in Communications–easily, and think of all the good it will do for our Country.


  72. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 12 @ 10:14 pm:

    Sorry. “…*75%* reduction…”


  73. - Springfieldish - Friday, Mar 30, 12 @ 9:24 am:

    This is tit-for-tat legislation by Duffy on behalf of CTCA. It raises the care facility’s name recognition and Duffy’s creds among among ardent health supporters. It IS special legislation and would not pass constitutional muster.


  74. - Wumpus - Friday, Mar 30, 12 @ 9:31 am:

    Well, Black males tend to die earlier than white females. Let’s ban them from hiring black males too.


  75. - amalia - Friday, Mar 30, 12 @ 9:33 am:

    here’s hoping that ardent health supporters know that there are only two National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Centers in Illinois, the University of Chicago and Northwestern, and that Northwestern is further the only National Comprehensive Cancer Network Center in Illinois. These are medical and scientific community standards not PR ploys. If you are experiencing cancer, you want smart people, not PR tricks.


  76. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 30, 12 @ 11:50 am:

    ==These are medical and scientific community standards not PR ploys.==

    Wow. Nice to see that there are actually standards still out there, which probably include ethical behavior, and that they are followed.

    Too bad our legislators have set the bar so low for themselves. I feel sorry for our judges who have to apply and otherwise deal with this type of “output” on a daily basis.


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* Rauner again denies any delays at Quincy veterans' home
* "Speed dating" candidates
* Lawyer won't answer simple questions as some anonymous former Pritzker staffers speak out
* AFL-CIO launches "massive" digital ad buy
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