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Monday
Jan052009

New Oregon Smokefree Workplace Law

As of January 1, 2009, smoking is now prohibited in most public places in Oregon and places of employment. Every enclosed area under your control frequented by employees during the course of their employment is covered. This includes bowling alleys, private clubs, private offices, even work vehicles not operated exclusively by one employee.

There are a few exceptions. Unless you are a certified smoke shop, a certified cigar bar, hotel or motel with designated smoking rooms (up to 25% of all sleeping rooms) or participate in American Indian ceremonies, however, these exceptions do not apply to you.

Follow the steps listed below to comply with this law.

  • Inform all employees of the law.
  • Prohibit smoking within 10 feet of all entrances, exits, windows and air intake vents.
  • Prominently display “No Smoking Within 10 Feet” signs at each entrance and exit to your place of employment or public place. You can download a free sign by clicking here.
  • Remove all ashtrays from your workplace and from within 10 feet of entrances, exits, windows and ventilation intakes.
  • Prohibit smoking in company vehicles. You may allow smoking in a vehicle permanently assigned to a single employee when no other employees, clients or members of the public are required to operate or ride in the vehicle. It may be simpler to designate all vehicles as smokefree. This is allowed.
  • You may but are not required to designate an outdoor smoking area. This area must not be within 10 feet of any entrance, exit, window that opens or ventilation intake. This smoking area must not be enclosed and must be in compliance with all other applicable codes.

Please take these new rules seriously. A “wink & a nod” exception for a key manager or owner could cost you dearly. Let’s say someone decides to say “nobody’s going to tell me not to smoke in my car.” That may be fine, but if the business owns the vehicle, make sure no one else ever rides or is ever asked to ride with that person. Otherwise, you could be fined $50 per day, up to $2,000 over 30 days and face “further administrative action.”

Those that have attended one of my recent seminars know that one of the hottest areas in employment litigation is retaliation claims. The average settlement in these cases is $845,517. You wouldn’t want to have an employee say that the reason they were disciplined or terminated was in retaliation for refusing to ride in a smoker’s car.

You need to be aware of this new law. Like any employment legislation, it can have employment liability implications far greater than the statutory penalties.

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References (2)

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  • Response
    By reading the title we can understand that this blog will be specially for smokers because here writer is talking about smokefree workplace law. According to this idea all smokers will have to control themselves while working in office area.
  • Response
    EEOC lawyers review the entire file, such as the agency's investigation, your decision of the Administrative J...eeoc form 573 word

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