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All forms of smokeless tobacco are forbidden in the workplace. Employees who use smokeless tobacco as an alternative to smoking tobacco will be disciplined.
In accordance with law, the Company prohibits smoking in conference areas, halls, restrooms, reading areas and any other workplace areas. Smoking is permitted in a private, enclosed office provided that: (1) no more than 3 people usually occupy the office; (2) no more than three people are in the office when smoking occurs; (3) the office door is kept closed while smoking occurs and for a reasonable period thereafter; (4) if more than one person is present in the office, one person must be the office’s usual occupant; and (5) all persons present consent to the smoking. Smoking is also permitted outside at the designated point so long as employees do not litter the area with butts. Please use the ash containers that are provided in each area.
Should a dispute arise between employees concerning smoking, the Executive Director should be notified immediately. The Company shall make every effort to accommodate the interests of the non-smoker to the extent reasonably practicable.
All employees and applicants for employment are free to exercise their rights under this policy without fear or threat of retaliation or reprisal.
Commentary (if any): An employer’s smoking policy must conform with applicable law. Thus, for example, the Pennsylvania Clean Indoor Air Act requires that employers “develop, post and implement a policy to regulate smoking in the workplace….” 35 P.S. § 1230.1. The purpose of this legislation is to protect public health and to promote the comfort of all persons in certain workplaces by regulating and controlling smoking. The act does not require development of any particular kind of policy so long as the policy is intended to regulate smoking in the workplace. In contrast, the New York City smoking law imposes much more stringent requirements.
A common course of action, however, is to prohibit smoking in the workplace, except in specifically designated areas (either a smoking room or outside the facility). These kinds of limits are generally acceptable to smokers. Most often, it is the non-smokers that demand stricter policies regarding smoking or an outright ban.
A more detailed policy regarding smoking may be necessary for some employers, particular those employers that have employees who occupy private offices. For example, an employer may permit smoking in a private, enclosed office provided that:
• no more than 3 people usually occupy the office
• no more than three people are in the office when smoking occurs
• the office door is kept closed while smoking occurs and for a reasonable period thereafter
• if more than one person is present in the office, one person must be the office’s usual occupant
• all persons present consent to the smoking.
Finally, given the well-publicized dangers of smoking and the battle between the federal government and the tobacco industry, disputes between employee smokers and non-smokers often arise. A smoking policy should therefore contain a provision regarding disputes. In its simplest form, employees should be directed to report any problems regarding the smoking policy to the personnel office or some designated management official.
Employees must utilize the only designated smoking area located directly outside the main employee entrance during lunch and break periods only.
Smoking is not permitted anywhere else on company property. Smoking is only permitted at the designated area immediately outside the main employee entrance.
The designated smoking area must be maintained litter-free. It is the responsibility of smokers to police the designated area.
If any abuse of this policy is discovered, the policy will be discontinued immediately and will result in discontinuance of any smoking on company premises.
Company work rules state “Smoking other than in specifically designed areas and during specified periods of the day” will result in appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Employees who wish to take the opportunity to quit smoking should contact the Personnel department, or their own physician, for a listing of Smoking Cessation Programs.
WARNING: Do NOT simply adopt a policy or add it to your handbook or manual without consulting with a qualified HR professional or employment lawyer. A sample policy may not be proper or even lawful in your particular situation. You’ve been warned.