California Labor Laws Concerning Smoking In the Workplace Have Changed.

Effective June 9th, smoking in the workplace has, for the most, part been banned.

For some time, California has had an anti-smoking law in the workplace, but this new law goes much farther.  As of June 9th employers may no longer permit the smoking of tobacco products in either a place of employment or in an enclosed office or space.

In the recent past even though smoking was banned for the most part in the workplace, the employer could have designated areas where smoking was allowed.  In addition to that certain employers and specified working environments.  This is a new update to the current California Labor Laws.

With the new law that was signed, most of these exemptions are gone.

What is new with this new smoking ban?

  • As stated above most all of the smoking ban exemptions are gone.
  • In the past the law did not apply to owner-operated business, this new California labor law does. Even if you are the owner and the only one working there, you can no longer smoke in your own office.
  • The exemption for small businesses with five or fewer employees is also gone.  In times past an employee could smoke in the office as long as minors were not allowed to be there.  In times past you could smoke in the office with five or fewer employees if there was proper ventilation.  But now all of those exemptions are gone.

Not only have many of the previous exemptions disappeared but now the ban on smoking in the workplace has been expanded.

  • No longer do employers have the ability to set a designated smoking break room.  Even though before this law came into effect you could have a smoking break room now you cannot.  They are prohibited by law.
  • Specific work environments that used to allow smoking can no longer.  Places, like bars, hotel lobbies, taverns, and warehouses.  Smoking in all of these places is now prohibited.
  • This new law has also raised the legal age from 18 to 21 with the expectation of active military personnel.

E-Cigarettes and Vaping are also Prohibited in the workplace.

This new legislation includes the e-cigarettes as well as all vaping devices which have the ingredient nicotine as “smoking”—meaning that these products are now covered in this new smoking in the workplace ban.

The Cost of Failing to Comply

Non-compliance of the new anti-smoking in the workplace law could cost employers fines ranging from $100-$500.

Navigating the new California Labor Laws is getting more and more difficult all the time.  CES Today is encouraging employers all over the state to make sure that their employee handbooks are current with all of the new labor laws.

Many cities in California now have a different minimum wage than does California as a whole so as an employer you need to know what the new minimum wage in your city is.

The same can also be said about the California Paid Sick leave.  Certain cities have increased the number of Paid Sick Leave from 3 to 5, and there have been some other subtle changes that you need to be aware of.

Should you have any questions, please call us, we love questions and enjoy helping California Employers to comply with all of the new California Labor Laws.