Prohibition on Smoking in the Work Place

Smoking at work mandatesIn today’s day and age, many employers want to ban smoking on their premises/property. By instituting a tobacco ban employers may get a discount on their insurance premiums.

If an employer is a non-union workplace instituting a ban, it is relatively easy, provided the employer provides the employees with notice and a time-frame to adjust prior to implementing the policy. However, employers should consider the ramifications of doing so and the problems that could be created such as employees taking extended breaks to leave the property to have a cigarette as well as employees violating the policy and the consequences associated with it.

In a union setting, it can be more complicated. Both the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board and the National Labor Relations Board have found that tobacco use policies or prohibitions on smoking are mandatory subjects of bargaining. Accordingly, an employer of a unionized workforce cannot unilaterally implement a non-smoking policy and must negotiate the policy and its effects with the union.

If you have any questions and want to have a discussion about banning smoking in the work please call 1-570-287-3000 ext. 1110.

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