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Smoking in the Workplace Laws

The days when smoking in the workplace was as accepted as drinking coffee or soda are long gone. Concerns about the impact of second-hand smoke and the comfort of non-smokers have prompted most states to enact laws. Clean indoor air laws prohibit smoking in the workplace. Read below five of the top smoking in the workplace questions that have been answered by the Experts.

In the state of Vermont, can an employer establish other policies like smoke free cars or outdoor areas of the workplace?

The law only applies to workplaces within enclosed structures, like office buildings. However, many Vermont employers have already voluntarily established smoke free campus policies or smoke free outdoor areas around the perimeter of buildings. Setting policies for smoking in company vehicles, or vehicles located on company property, is up to the individual employer

If an employer has banned smoking in the workplace, are they obligated to provide a designated smoking area?

In most situations, an employer is not obligated to provide an employee the right to smoke outside or near their premises. Many employers have band any smoking near or around their office building. This is the employers' decision to approve and allow employees or visitors to smoke outside of their facility. Many employers are banning employees from smoking while at work, from smelling of smoke, from smoking in or near their building.

In the state of Indiana is it legal for an employer to ban smoking on public sidewalks

It is not illegal for an employer to ban smoking around a certain perimeter of the place of employment. This means that if the employer wanted to ban smoking on public sidewalks if it is in the perimeter set forth around the place of business the employer has that right.

In Oklahoma can an employer provide a smoking Area to one group of employees and not to another group of employees when the company has ban smoking in all undesignated areas? Or is this considered discrimination?

Employer policies regarding smoking are typically issues that the employer may choose to enforce or not to enforce. That's usually the employer's business.

Unfortunately, employers don't typically have to enforce policies evenly and they can extend privileges at work to some employees and not others. This is true with smoking privileges as well, provided employers provide by any workplace smoking regulations mandated by law.

That said, if an employer treats employees differently based on unlawful discrimination, an employee could have a basis for legal action. Unlawful discrimination includes discrimination based on age over 40, race, gender, and disability.

What is the law regarding a smoke free workplace in California.

The California Smoke-Free Workplace Law prohibits smoking in any enclosed workplace and no employer can allow smoking in such enclosed area by any one, employee or not.

Among the exceptions are: if no nonsmokers are in the cab of a motor truck, the smokers can legally smoke in the truck. Warehouse facilities that measure more than 100,000 square feet and have less than 20 employees can also be exempt. Employers may designate break rooms as long as the room has proper ventilation which will remove the smoke from the air and the break room is not located in the workplace where other workers will have to enter. Also, employers who have less than 6 employees have the authority to allow smoking as long as the designated area is not accessible to minors, all employees required to enter the designated smoking area gave consent to the area, exhaust fans move the air outside the designated area and proper ventilation is installed.

Some states prohibit smoking in all workplaces, public and private. Other states have a variety of laws that restrict smoking at work in one way or another, such as limiting smoking to designated areas, prohibiting smoking in only public (not private) workplaces, or prohibiting smoking in only certain types of workplaces (such as hospitals and restaurants). To find out about the law in your state, you can ask the Experts.

Ask an Employment Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 8060
Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
4460311
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
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Employment Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

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Recent Smoking Questions

  • Hello, I have a question regarding hiring decisions based on

    Hello, I have a question regarding hiring decisions based on criminal records. I pleaded guilty to fraud in 2009, so i have a felony. I applied to a company for a position working on a machine making surgical blades? I was advised by the receptionist that the job did not require experience , could not be a smoker , and the hours. She then proceed to advise me the process was to leave my resume and it would be reviewed and would be called for an interview time if they are interested. She ( the receptionist) review my resume and decided to schedule an interview. At this point I left , leaving only my resume and phone numbers. I did not fill out an application or asked any further questions. I intended to disclose my felony at the interview. A few hours later I get a call from HR and She asked if , I was the person that just left the resume and she stated that she just wanted to make sure the interview was set up, she proceeded to ask my year of birth , as soon as I did , she mentioned the month and date. I pretty sure that she was looking up or doing a criminal background check , which I understand . She then proceed to advise me that she could not interview me for the position. I have done some research and there are guide lines that they must follow, type and severity of crime, does it have an impact on the position that you are applying and time of charge. Do I have any grounds to make a complaint to any government agency is my main question. I feel that they are not following protocol and not just because i had my interview cancelled, just the way that they made the decision. If asked I would have disclosed and explained the felony charge.
  • employed for 21 years at the same company, was not a safety

    employed for 21 years at the same company, was not a safety sensitive employee, yet was made to take a random drug test during working hours at the company site, no confidentiality, waited in line with other employees, i failed for thc in my urine. I was caring for a relative who just passed away, from leukemia, and was on medical marijuana, also have a friend who has bone cancer, and also is taking medical marijuana, told them i have been around people who have been smoking, and still got fired. can i sue for not keeping confidentiality , since everyone there now knows i failed their test, and am now unemployed at 54 years of age, and guilty of caring for people who are suffering and dying from from terminal illnesses. also fighting to get unemployment benefits, until i get another job, i am actively seeking employment.
  • Ok, I have contacted numerous law firms,only to be told there

    Ok,
    I have contacted numerous law firms,only to be told there was nothing that could be done. The first took my wife's case only to try and get her employer to settle for a for a small amount,just because her employer is a big company. I have told each one I am not interested in a settlement ,only that a real investigation be done on her complaint.My wife's name is N***** *****. Nanna worked for a Pizza Hut franchise company for 24 years without a single complaint on her performance.A different company took over the previous company about five years ago. Nanna was told she had nothing to worry about as far as her job security with the new company. This seemed to be true up until Mar 11,2013. Just a few months before(about November 2012) Nanna had received about eight awards from the new company including manager of the year from her own area,plus another manager of the year for the whole company,best numbers,etc.Now on Mar 11,2012 the Coo(which is the same person that assured Nanna her job was safe) and the area supervisor came by the store Nanna managed.When they left,a worked had received a dollar an hour raise without even consulting,or letting her know the raise had been given.The area manager left before Nanna arrived for her shift.When Nanna arrived the area manager was still there. He had just fired her son Matthew (which had worked for the company for the last eight years). All he said was"I guess you heard about Matthew" Nanna said I heard some,but do not know why.No reason was given to Nanna at that time. The area supervisor had to stay and help with Matthews job,as he was scheduled to work that day.After about two or three hours the area supervisor told Nanna he need to talk with her. He sat her down at a table in Pizza Hut,and laid a sheet of paper in front of her,excused himself to the rest room.While he was gone Nanna began reading, it started with the words sorry manager,and proceeded to list abou ten things she had to get corrected in thirty days or she would be terminated.You must realiz up until this day Nanna had never even been given a reprimand from any of her previous area managers for the entire 24 years with Pizza Hut.Now he returns from his brake,and says I need you to sign that.Nanna's response was not until you set down and explain what is going on.At that statement he walked away and told Nanna she was being very immature for not just signing the sheet(which she found out was a thirty days action) . At this time he grabbed the action plan ,t5hrew it in his brief case,and stormed out the door. He never left her a copy of the plan at all. From that day until October,Nanna was harassed,ignored,and ridiculed,with out any explanation as to what transpire on Mar.11,2013.Nanna met with the coo to discuss what was happening to her,but found out he was on the area supervisors side.He said he knew all about the action plan,and her refusing to sign,but if she did not change her ways,she would no longer be with the company.Keep in mind, Nanna still has no idea of what is going on at this time.When it came time to write Matthew a separation notice,Nanna had to text the area supervisor as to what to put on the separation notice(as she still had not been informed as to why he was fired). The supervisor said put nepotism.The pressure just kept piling on with no explanation. Finely,the supervisor started writing her up. First one for being thirty minutes late( first write up in 24 years) next write up,he walked in Pizza Hut one morning,and found cigarette butts in a clear coke cup with water. Wrote her up for smoking in the store,even though she tried to explain they were from her cleaning up the night before. Wrote her up anyway.She left the store a few days latter. I carried her to the doctor,which in turn sent her to a psychologist(still seeing him).I encouraged her to call Human Resources while this was going on,but she said after talking to the coo,she just figured it would make him more aggressive toward her.After she left,she did in fact call Human Resources.She was asked if she could set down with the area supervisor and the coo to challenge them on this.Nanna was in no condition to face both of them,because she knew they were both on each others side.The Human Resource person said she would investigate. Nanna called a few days later to inquire as to what was happening with the investigation.She was told there was no findings.When she asked how the Human Resources came to that conclusion ,the simply said I asked ,and both said nothing happened. Since that time I have hired the before ,mentioned Lawyer, no investigation above the Human Resources, I wrote a long letter describing everything I knew about what happened to Nanna, sent it to the Pizza Hut corp in Texas.Only to find out they simply sent it down to Nanna's Human Resources team,I then wrote an email to the President of Nanna's company that was sent to Human Resources as well. wanted a copy of the action plan,but now they say it
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