Smoking Policy

Can everyone (anyone) please post the section of your employee handbook about smoking. I am really getting frustrated with my smokers and I need to put something in writing to hold them accountable to.

Help me before I go crazy!

Determine where your problem is. Generally, no smoking inside the building or within xx feet of any entrance to the building. OSHA requires a 15 minute break every 4 hours (if memory serves). No more than 1 or 2 people out at a time, and only on scheduled breaks. Anyone who throws their cigarette butt on the ground must eat it after you soak it in the toilet :).

I do not like employees that smoke either. You can ban minors from smoking on your premises. I wish I had a solution- unemployment is 2.5% in my area and we put up with more than we should.

Can you really ban minors? It seems most laws I’ve seen say minors can’t BUY smokes and you can’t provide them with smokes, but they can smoke 'em.

You cannot stop your employees from smoking unless you’re willing to hire only non-smokers and pay a premium for it. Otherwise, you need to set ground rules for COURTEOUS smoking.

We simply implemented a smoke free property policy. Our entire property is smoke free - period. No smoke breaks, no smoking out back, no smoking in your car, no smoking anywhere. If you want to smoke they have to wait until break time - clock out, drive somewhere else and smoke there.

We have only had 3 or 4 smokers work for us in the past 10 years, and our culture of non-smokers makes for a much better work environment for everyone. When we had smokers who worked for us, it seemed like no matter what type of reasonable smoking policy we put in place, they always disregarded it, even if the result meant losing their job. And always, always, always - they smoked in the car with the pizza on the way to the customers house.

And it is simply not fair to your non-smoking employees to allow a smoker to take a 5 minute smoke break every hour.

In my opinion food prep/delivery just do not mix. I can smell smoke a mile away, and there is nothing worse than getting your pizza delivered by someone who smells of smoke. Even if it was on break, it clings to everything - the pizza, the drinks, the menu. For me it all boiled down to customer satisfaction and employee retention.

Scott, the post above this on is right on the money. It is true that your smokers will dislike such a drastic move but taking a break every hour to have a smoke is really costing you money. I had to do the same thing when I had my shop. When the city started a no smoking ban in all eating places, I told my help and myself included, that there was to be no smoking at all in or near the building.

The samething with cell phones. I had to fire a very good worker because he would always be on the phone. After three warnings, he still did not obey. I fired him right in the middle of a busy Friday night rush.

As far as the smoking, I did not loose one person.

Try This…

Smoking is not permitted inside the building by patrons or employees at any time. Employees who smoke may “clock out” for 10 minute outdoor smoke breaks in the designated area when approved by the on duty manager.

You might as well make it reduce payroll during down time!

I dont think that there is any Law Requiring breaks for employees.
There is a law for govt employees, but nothing that I have researched extends to the private sector.

Federal labor laws and state labor laws will dictate the break/meal policy.

Federal law does not require lunch or coffee breaks. However, when employers do offer short breaks (usually lasting about 5 to 20 minutes), federal law considers the breaks work-time that must be paid. Unauthorized extensions of authorized work breaks need not be counted as hours worked when the employer has expressly and unambiguously communicated to the employee that the authorized break may only last for a specific length of time, that any extension of the break is contrary to the employer’s rules, and any extension of the break will be punished.

Bona fide meal periods (typically lasting at least 30 minutes), serve a different purpose than coffee or snack breaks and

29 CFR 785.18 - Rest.

Section Number: 785.18
Section Name: Rest.

Rest periods of short duration, running from 5 minutes to about 20 

minutes, are common in industry. They promote the efficiency of the
employee and are customarily paid for as working time. They must be
counted as hours worked. Compensable time of rest periods may not be
offset against other working time such as compensable waiting time or
on-call time. (Mitchell v. Greinetz, 235 F. 2d 621, 13 W.H. Cases 3
(C.A. 10, 1956); Ballard v. Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., 61 F. Supp.
996 (S.D. Cal. 1945))

29 CFR 785.19 - Meal.

Section Number: 785.19
Section Name: Meal.

(a) Bona fide meal periods. Bona fide meal periods are not worktime. 

fide meal periods do not include coffee breaks or time for snacks. These
are rest periods. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for
the purposes of eating regular meals. Ordinarily 30 minutes or more is
long enough for a bona fide meal period. A shorter period may be long
enough under special conditions. The employee is not relieved if he is
required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while
eating. For example, an office employee who is required to eat at his
desk or a factory worker who is required to be at his machine is working
while eating. (Culkin v. Glenn L. Martin, Nebraska Co., 97 F. Supp. 661
(D. Neb. 1951), aff’d 197 F. 2d 981 (C.A. 8, 1952), cert. denied 344
U.S. 888 (1952); Thompson v. Stock & Sons, Inc., 93 F. Supp. 213 (E.D.
Mich 1950), aff’d 194 F. 2d 493 (C.A. 6, 1952); Biggs v. Joshua Hendy
Corp., 183 F. 2d 515 (C. A. 9, 1950), 187 F. 2d 447 (C.A. 9, 1951);
Walling v. Dunbar Transfer & Storage Co., 3 W.H. Cases 284; 7 Labor
Cases para. 61.565 (W.D. Tenn. 1943); Lofton v. Seneca Coal and Coke
Co., 2 W.H. Cases 669; 6 Labor Cases para. 61,271 (N.D. Okla. 1942);
aff’d 136 F. 2d 359 (C.A. 10, 1943); cert. denied 320 U.S. 772 (1943);
Mitchell v. Tampa Cigar Co., 36 Labor Cases para. 65, 198, 14 W.H. Cases
38 (S.D. Fla. 1959); Douglass v. Hurwitz Co., 145 F. Supp. 29, 13 W.H.
Cases (E.D. Pa. 1956))
(b) Where no permission to leave premises. It is not necessary that
an employee be permitted to leave the premises if he is otherwise
completely freed from duties during the meal period.

State laws may have more stringent break and meals statutes, please check yours.