Stricter workplace smoking law taking effect in California

December 01, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Jim Brown
Sedgwick LLP

A new law expanding smoking restrictions in California workplaces is set to take effect on January 1.

State law previously restricted smoking in places of employment based on “enclosed space” areas. In addition to requiring signage, California Labor Code Section 6404.5 provided a list of exceptions or exemptions from the definition of “place of employment.”

The new law, Assembly Bill 7, amends Labor Code Section 6404.5 to, among other things, eliminate the specified exemptions from “place of employment” for hotel lobby and bar areas, taverns, banquet rooms, warehouse facilities, and employee break rooms. Before Assembly Bill 7, local jurisdictions could enact rules prohibiting smoking in those areas, but no statewide law required such a ban.

read more…

New York law toughens smoking rules for hospitals, residential healthcare employers

October 21, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Peter A. Jones

A new law going into effect October 29 means employees of New York hospitals and residential healthcare facilities may not smoke anywhere on the grounds or within 15 feet of any entrance or exit to a building or the grounds of such facilities. The law allows a narrow exception for patients of residential healthcare facilities and their visitors or guests, but there’s no exception for employees.

Although the New York Clean Indoor Air Act has prohibited smoking by employees in the workplace for years, that law doesn’t prohibit smoking outside an employer’s premises. The new amendment, signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 31, requires general hospitals and residential healthcare facilities to prohibit their employees from smoking on their grounds and within 15 feet of all entrances to or exits from their grounds.

read more…

Oklahoma workplace tobacco law revisions effective November 1

October 16, 2013 1 COMMENTS

by Charles S. Plumb

Effective November 1, 2013, two Oklahoma statutes governing how an employer addresses tobacco use in its workplace or by its employees will be revised.

Under the new 21 Okla. Stat. § 1247, lighted tobacco products in any form are prohibited in indoor workplaces. With a few exceptions, this prohibition includes work areas, employee lounges, restrooms, conference rooms, classrooms, cafeterias, and hallways. An Oklahoma employer may choose to provide its workforce with a smoking room so long as no work is performed in the room and it is fully enclosed and exhausted directly to the outside. Employers should post notices informing employees and guests that the workplace is tobacco-free.

While employers have the right to prevent employees from using tobacco products in the workplace, since 1991, state law has prohibited Oklahoma employers from discriminating against applicants or employees based on their use of tobacco during nonworking hours. This prohibition applies to discrimination against tobacco users regarding their compensation or any other terms or conditions of employment.

read more…

North Dakota employers need to be ready for new smoking law

November 12, 2012 0 COMMENTS

by Lisa Edison-Smith

North Dakota employers need to take steps to comply with a new antismoking law that will take effect on December 6, 2012.

On November 6, voters approved Measure 4 by a 2-1 margin. The law “prohibit[s] smoking, including the use of electronic smoking devices, in public places and most places of employment in the state, including certain outdoor areas.” It also provides that employers have “notification and enforcement responsibilities.”

read more…