Sheriff's office will only hire nonsmokers
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - New hires at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office must be nonsmokers and sign a no-smoking pledge as a condition of employment next year.
The policy will also ban smoking in police cars and move designated smoking areas at least 50 feet away from buildings beginning in February, said Undersheriff Ken Eggleston.
Current employees who smoke won't be affected by the policy banning new hires of smokers, he said.
"Our goal is to get a healthier work force, less sick time and lower health care costs," Eggleston said.
In 1996, the Florida Supreme Court upheld a similar smoking policy in North Miami. Lower insurance costs outweighed the privacy issue, the court ruled.
Boca Raton considered the ban two years ago, then decided against it after some council members said it was too invasive of employee rights. But contracts with three unions that represent most city employees already included a no-smoking pledge for new hires.