New California Smoking Restriction in the Workplace

California passed new anti-smoking legislation which places greater restrictions on smoking in the work place.  No business can allow smoking in the workplace if clients or other non-employees are allowed into their workplace. The new law also applies to company breakrooms, hotel lobbies, bars, banquet rooms and warehouses, which were previously exempt from California’s workplace smoking ban.

Taxi and Uber drivers are not exempt from these new smoking bans and may not smoke in their vehicles.  One of the only remaining exemptions would be an owner-operator, single employee business with no outside access.  For example, an owner-operator of a truck or tractor may smoke inside the cab of his or her vehicle.  Another exemption is a tobacco shop with a private smoking lounge.
This new ban applies to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaporizers.  It also raises the prior minimum smoking age from 18 to 21 years old.  Employers need to be aware of these new laws and change their workplace polices accordingly.  Violations of these laws may result in fines, penalties and Cal/OSHA investigations.
The attorneys at Chauvel & Glatt can help employers prepare employee handbooks to comply with these and other California workplace laws.

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