Kentucky Laws on Smoking in the Workplace

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

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

Kentucky statutes don’t specifically address smoking in private workplaces. Local laws that regulate smoking in public -- at the city, county, or town level -- may also apply to smoking in the workplace in some areas. And keep in mind that Kentucky laws may already specifically prohibit smoking in certain types of businesses operated by the employer (such as a hospital or a restaurant). These laws apply to employees as well as patrons or customers of the business.

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

Kentucky laws don’t address the specific areas of a workplace where smoking may be prohibited or permitted. Remember that some workplaces might already be subject to Kentucky 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 Kentucky workplaces?

Kentucky does not require employers to create designated smoking areas or provide other accommodations for smokers in the workplace.

Does Kentucky require employers to make accommodations for nonsmokers?

Kentucky doesn’t specifically require employers to provide workplace accommodations for nonsmoker employees.

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

Kentucky 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 Kentucky, employers are generally free to adopt policies on smoking in the workplace if they choose to.

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

As long as an employee complies with workplace smoking policy, an employer may not discharge employee or discriminate in terms of wages, benefits, or conditions of employment because of being a smoker or nonsmoker, or require employee to refrain from using tobacco products outside of work as a condition of employment. A difference in employee contribution rates for smokers and nonsmokers in relation to an employer-sponsored health plan is a lawful practice, as well as the offering of incentives or benefits offered to employees who participate in a smoking cessation program.

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

If you want to go right to the source and look up Kentucky 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 Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. Section 344.040(3). 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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