California Clamps Down on Smoking in the Workplace

While California has generally banned smoking in the workplace for some years, there are new rules extending that ban are effective June 9, 2016.

The governor recently signed a package of bills that expanded already-existing smoke-free workplace protections. The new legislation includes:

Raises the legal smoking age from 18 to 21, except for active military personnel;

Treats the use of e-cigarettes and other nicotine-delivery devices, such as vaporizers, as “smoking” — thus extending existing smoking bans to cover these products;

Expands smoke-free workplace protections by getting rid of most of the existing exemptions that permitted smoking in certain work environments, such as bars, hotel lobbies and warehouse facilities;

Expands the workplace smoking ban to include owner-operated businesses and to eliminate any small business exception for employers with five or fewer employees; and

Eliminates the ability to have employer-designated smoking break rooms.

As a side note, smoking laws can also vary from county-to-county or city-to-city.

HR Ideas will be assisting our clients in revising sections of their handbook dealing with smoking in the workplace in their 2017 Handbook Updates, so look for it. In the meantime, if you wish to implement the new law into your policy, we are ready to assist you.

Should you have any questions, please contact your HR Ideas representative at 925-556-4404.

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