California Workplace Smoking Laws

Provision of a Smoke-Free Workplace by Employers in California

Many people consider second-hand tobacco to be a health hazard. California laws do not require employers to provide smoke-free workplaces, but smoking is regulated in such places.

It is only in some situations that an employer can ban smoking from their facilities. For instance, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) can need a smoke-free workplace in situations where the industrial contaminants might mix with the smoke and create poor air quality violating the workplace safety standards.

Sacramento drug laws allow many employers to implement policies which regulate smoking at work by either confining smoking to specific places or banning the practice. Also, employees with disability challenges related to tobacco smoke can request their employers to help them prevent exposure to the smoke.

California law states that for a workplace that is enclosed, an employer may eliminate smoking. Smoking can only be allowed in non-work places which are safe and hazard-free. But those employers with less than six employees may allow smoking in any designated area as long there is an agreement between them and all employees present. No minors are allowed in the smoking zone.

California smoking law protects smokers from being wrongfully fired or discriminated against. No employer is allowed to discriminate against or discharge an employee for engaging in a lawful activity.

California employers have to put up reasonable measures to ensure the prevention of smoking in any enclosed workplace area. The employers can decide to designate an entire site as a no-smoking area and may choose to create break rooms designated for smoking.

California law prohibits smoking within 20 feet of any public place or building. Also, if there is a break room for smokers, there must be enough break rooms for all the non-smokers.

According to the California workplace laws, a designated smoking area must be situated in a non-work area. The room should have enough ventilation with a fan that exhausts the air outside. Additionally, no employee is required to enter the place designated for smoking as part of their job.

California smoking laws treat e-cigarettes and vaporizers almost identically to traditional tobacco products. Using such devices is also defined as smoking, and this means that selling e-cigarettes to individuals less than 21 years of age is a crime. The devices are also prohibited in places where smoking other tobacco products are restricted. 

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