California Smoking laws & HR compliance analysis

California Smoking: What you need to know

In California, an employer is barred from maintaining a place of employment that is not safe and healthful. Therefore, California prohibits smoking in all enclosed workplaces, both private and public, including vehicles, parking garages and covered parking lots, and common areas such as lobbies, restrooms, break rooms, stairwells, and elevators. Smoking is prohibited within 20 feet (ft) of main entrances, exits, operable windows, or ventilation system intakes. Included in the workplace ban are hotel lobbies, banquet rooms, restaurants, bars and taverns, warehouse facilities, and nontribal casinos, bingo parlors, and gaming rooms. California also prohibits smoking in all state-owned and -operated buildings, including all public school facilities and prisons (CA Lab. Code Secs. 6404 and 6404.5 et seq.). California employers should also be aware that the legal age for smoking has been raised from 18 to 21, except for active military personnel.
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Businesses with no employees.Effective June 9, 2016, California’s no-smoking law covers all employers, regardless of size, including owner-operated businesses.
Employers are allowed to prohibit smoking within 20 feet of outdoor work areas or to limit smoking only to designated areas outdoors as permitted under local fire codes.
Also, the use of any type of tobacco is prohibited in any area where food is prepared, served, or stored (CA Health and Safety Code Sec. 113990-114070).
Employers with five or fewer full-time or part-time employees may permit smoking if the smoking area is not accessible to minors, all employees voluntarily consent to permit smoking, air from the smoking area is exhausted directly to the outside by an exhaust fan and not ...

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