Smoking laws & HR compliance analysis

Smoking: What you need to know

Smoking in the workplace involves many complex issues, including: compliance with federal, state, and local lawssuch as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance premiums, and healthcare costs; discrimination issues and smokers' rights; and union contracts. Accordingly, many companies have banned smoking within the workplace and its outdoor areas.
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Federal workplaces. In 2008, the General Service Administration issued an amendment (FMR Case 2008-102-3) to the Federal Management Regulation (Part 102-74, Facility Management) that prohibits smoking of tobacco products in facilities owned or leased by the federal government and within 25 feet of entryways and air intakes. The revised rule supersedes Executive Order 13058 and previous FMR rules that allow for designated smoking areas.
Exemptions. The rule does not apply to residential accommodations within federal buildings, portions of federal buildings leased or rented to nonfederal parties, or areas in private-sector places of employment serving as a duty station for a federal employee. Agency heads may grant narrow exceptions on a limited project-driven basis.
Smoking in the workplace. Although there is no federal smoking ban for private employers, 47 states have laws limiting smoking in public places, including workplaces; 40 states and the District of Columbia restrict smoking in private-sector workplaces; and all 50 states restrict smoking in government buildings. Local jurisdictions also have banned smoking in public indoor areas, often including restaurants and bars. In states where smoking is confined to designated smoking areas, nonsmokers cannot be required to enter the area. Beyond the law, many employers ...

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