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Smoke Break Policy Related Questions

Smoke breaks and discrimination against smokers creates a never ending debate among employees. Smokers and non-smokers often have questions about their rights as employees. Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer can answer any of your questions related to smoke breaks and discrimination against smokers. Below are five of the top smoke break questions answered by the Experts.

Can an employer prohibit employees from smoking during work hours?

There is no law which requires that an employer must let employees smoke during work hours. Many employers have started hiring only non-smoking employees. General preference of non-smoking employee usually leans toward employers such as hospitals and other health care providers, police and fire departments. With the ever growing knowledge of the harmful side-effects of smoking, many establishments are now deemed smoke free, therefore allowing for no smoking policies.

In Michigan, can smokers be allowed paid breaks when non smokers are not?

The state of Michigan does not require that employers offer any paid breaks. It is the employer’s decision on which employees are given paid breaks. This is legal so long as the choices are not based on race, religion, age, gender or disability. Usually, the majority of employers try to provide all employees with similar break allowances. However, this does not mean that all employees are entitled to paid breaks.

Can an employer prohibit employees from smoking on their lunch break?

Usually, an employer cannot stop an employee from smoking if they are not clocked-in (such as lunch break). The exception to this would be if your employer has a smoke-free work environment and the employees are not permitted to leave the workplace during the work shift even during a lunch break. However, it is possible for an employer to prohibit the employee from smoking if there is a negative impact on the work environment. This is common in places like a hospital or a health care setting.

What are a smoker’s rights in the workplace?

Smokers are not permitted any special provisions in the workplace. Smokers are not a protected class, which means they cannot claim any rights related to smoking. The employer has the right to refuse anyone to smoke within the work area and can deny smoke breaks. The employer also has the right to increase healthcare premiums to smokers if they choose to do so.

Is it legal to allow company drivers smoking privileges and prohibit smoking for office workers?

It is legal for an employer to allow different rules for different classes. There is no state or federal law that requires an employer to maintain the same rules for all employees. The only exception to this would be if the decisions are based on race, gender, age, or religion.

Whether you are a smoker who is being discriminated against or a non smoker wanting to know about your rights in the work place that allows smoking, you may have legal questions that require an experienced answer. Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer can answer your questions about smoke breaks and smoke break policy in an efficient and knowledgeable manner.
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