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Smoke-Free Workplace ??

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  • Smoke-Free Workplace ??

    I am in California and am browsing the internet trying to learn about smoke-free workplace laws and parameters. I am finding this frustrating and hope that someone on this Forum might work in human resources and thus know about this as a matter of course.

    This regards a large botanical garden which is a private institution open to the public. They charge for admission and also sell annual memberships for frequent visitors. There is one small sign near the entrance regarding the rules which most people do not even notice. This sign includes "NO SMOKING." The institution is apparently not interested in having several of these signs around nor actively enforcing the rules. I speculate that they do not want to discourage ANY visitors as a means of enhancing their revenue. They also offer special memberships at high financial levels. I further speculate that some of these very high-level members may be smokers.

    Here is the basic question in a nut shell: Do smoke-free workplace laws protect employees from incidental smoke in outdoor areas that might just be drifting by? Or, are employees only protected from concentrated or consistent second-hand smoke?

    Just for the record: I am NOT an employee. I am a member and frequent visitor who abhors even the slightest whiff of tobacco smoke.

    Comments, please, Mr. Spock . . .

  • #2
    Over here in Belgium, smoking is prohibited at the workplace. This is inside, unless in specially designated areas (mostly closed rooms with forced ventilation). Some companies allow smoking outside and provide a shelter and ashtrays outside. But this is slowly declining in practise. There is however nothing against smoking on the steps just outside the doors on the public footpath. Same for pubs, no smoking inside but they can smoke as much as they like on the terrace. This makes that if you don't like smoke then you you just have to stay indoors.

    Now the problem you face is definition of "workplace". And in a botanical garden that may not be clear. This is sometimes leading to issues like a self-employed worker being fined for smoking in his own van while going to a job. Because he is "at his workplace". Rather daft...


    • #3
      In Germany, where I happen to work in human resources, every employee has the right to have a smoke free workplace. However, if smoking is allowed outside on the balcony and you as a non-smoker happen to be there as well to catch some sunshine, you can't ask the others to stop smoking while you're there.
      I don't know the rules in the U.S., but in general I would think that smoke that's drifting by is not considered a health hazard and that, being outdoors, you might have to put up with all kinds of odour. Whether it would be worth the discussion about the "no smoking" sign, I can't tell.


      • #4

        In my state in the Northeast, we also have a law that enforces the no smoking in public places that extends up to 20' outside any public entrance. However, I've noticed the local workers at the *urger King & other fast-food joints who congregate around a trigged back door. Most of our problem is that we're in a touristy state, and most of the Canadians and visitors from other states and countries don't know the local laws, so they unknowingly break the law.

        I've thought about advising them of the law, but have resisted so far.

        Just an FYI for us.

        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos


        • #5
          Perhaps, someday you will have your perfect world.
          Jerry F Bacon-Dallas,Tx