Smoking is grounds for dismissal for Massachusetts firefighters

Smoking is grounds for dismissal for Massachusetts firefighters

Massachusetts firefighters and police officers caught smoking on or off duty can be fired, according to a recent state Supreme Judicial Court ruling. The court upheld the firing of a Plymouth (MA) police officer fired in 1993 for smoking.

The state law applies to personnel hired after 1988, explains Thomas J. Fugazzi, chief of the Plymouth (MA) Fire Department. At the time of their hiring, he adds, fire and police personnel are asked to sign a statement acknowledging that they are aware that they can automatically lose their jobs if they smoke on or off duty. These personnel will receive benefits if they develop lung and/or heart disease, Fugazzi notes. “If you`re going to get benefits, you must protect them,” he says.

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