Smoke-free checklist

Developing a new nonsmoking workplace etiquette is recommended.

by Denise Blommel — 

Arizona voters passed Proposition 201, labeled the “Smoke-Free Arizona Act,” on November 7, 2006. The Act went into effect May 1, 2007. The enforcement agency, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), has a Web site at www.smokefreearizona.org which contains the language of the act, ADHS rules, enforcement policies and other relevant information.

The following is a beginning checklist for Arizona employers and employees concerning the Act’s employment requirements:

1. “No Smoking” signs and notices must appear at every entrance. The international no-smoking sign, a red-circled cigarette with a slash through it, or the words “No Smoking” must now be posted all around the workplace. Also, employers must post notices which state in English that smoking is prohibited by A.R.S. § 36-601.01 and that complaints regarding violations may be made (a) by telephone at 1-877-4AZNOSMOKE; (b) by sending an e-mail to nosmokingarizona@azdhs.gov; or (c) on the Internet at www.smokefreearizona.org.

2. Employer-owned vehicles must be nonsmoking (and posted as such) if they are occupied by more than one person.

3. As of May 1, 2007, every employer must communicate that its workplace is smoke-free to all applicants for employment. This should become a standard part of every job interview.

4. By May 1, 2007, all Arizona employers must communicate that the workplace is smoke-free to all current employees.

5. There can be no smoking in any enclosed area on any job site. Smoking is permitted outdoors, but not if the smoke can enter the enclosed areas. Employers will need to carefully check the ADHS rules for creating new outdoors smoking sections for employees.

6. Employers must remove all ashtrays from the workplace.

7. Employees have new rights to be free from retaliation, because an employer cannot discharge or retaliate against any employee who exercises his or her rights to report or attempt to prosecute a violation of the Act. ADHS enforces this provision with statutory penalties.

8. Employers and employees must inform anyone smoking in a prohibited area that s/he must stop. Employees can be disciplined for smoking in any space other than an outdoor nonsmoking area. Independent contractors are covered as employees under the act. The prohibition applies to customers and vendors, as well.

Developing a new nonsmoking workplace etiquette is recommended, along with a constant monitoring of the ADHS Web site for explanations of the new rules.

 

Denise M. Blommel is an attorney in Scottsdale, Ariz., who does consultation, training and mediation, representing employers and employees. www.azlaborlaw.com, 480-425-7272 or denise@azlaborlaw.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 2, April/May 2007.

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