Connecticut Laws on Smoking in the Workplace

Information on Connecticut workplace smoking laws, including accommodations for smokers and employer policies on smoking.

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What kinds of workplaces are subject to Connecticut workplace smoking laws?

Workplace smoking laws apply to enclosed facilities.

In Connecticut, in what parts of the workplace is smoking prohibited? Where is smoking permitted?

Smoking is prohibited for employers with five or more employees, except in designated smoking rooms. An employer may prohibit smoking throughout the workplace. Connecticut laws don’t address the specific areas of a workplace where smoking may be permitted. Remember that some workplaces might already be subject to Connecticut or local laws that regulate smoking in public or smoking in or around certain kinds of businesses.

What are the requirements for designated smoking areas in Connecticut workplaces?

In Connecticut, smoking areas for employers with fewer than five employees must have existing physical barriers and ventilation systems. For employers with five or more employees, the air must be exhausted directly outside with a fan and cannot recirculate to other areas of the building. Also, the room must be in a nonwork area where no employee is required to enter.

Does Connecticut require employers to make accommodations for nonsmokers?

Connecticut employers with fewer than five employees must provide one or more clearly designated work areas for nonsmoking employees. For employers with five or more employees, if there are smoking rooms, the employer must provide sufficient nonsmoking break rooms. Accommodations for smokers are that each smoking room designated by an employer shall be in a nonwork area for the use of employees only, that air from the smoking room shall be exhausted directly to the outside by an exhaust fan, and that no air from such room shall be recirculated to other parts of the building.

Are employers required to have a written or oral policy on workplace smoking in Connecticut?

Connecticut laws don’t address employer policies on smoking in the workplace. Local laws regulating smoking -- at the city, county, or town level -- may require employers to have a policy on smoking in some areas. And, even though it’s not required by law in Connecticut, employers are generally free to adopt policies on smoking in the workplace if they choose to.

Does Connecticut provide employees with protection from smoking-related discrimination?

An employer may not require employee to refrain from smoking as a condition of employment.

Where can I find Connecticut law information on smoking in the workplace?

If you want to go right to the source and look up Connecticut law on workplace smoking laws -- or if you're writing a letter to your employer or employee and want to cite the applicable law -- the relevant statute(s) can be found at Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. Sections 31-40q, 31-40s. Workplace smoking information is also available in Nolo's books Your Rights in the Workplace, by Barbara Repa (Nolo) and The Employer's Legal Handbook, by Fred Steingold (Nolo).

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