New Hampshire Laws on Smoking in the Workplace

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

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What kinds of workplaces are subject to New Hampshire workplace smoking laws?

Workplace smoking laws apply to enclosed workplaces where four or more people work.

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

Smoking is prohibited throughout the workplace except for designated smoking areas. If a smoking area cannot be effectively segregated, smoking will be totally prohibited. An employer may declare the entire workplace nonsmoking. Smoking is permitted in designated smoking areas, but no smoking area is permitted in certain workplaces, including restaurants, cocktail lounges, or grocery stores.

What are the requirements for designated smoking areas in New Hampshire workplaces?

In New Hampshire, smoking areas must be effectively segregated, which means procedures for accurately and fairly determining preference have been followed. The size and location of no-smoking and smoking-permitted areas are designed, designated, or juxtaposed so that smoke does not cause harm or unreasonably intrude into the area occupied by persons who are not smoking. In buildings with existing ventilation systems, smoking areas must be near exhaust vents.

Does New Hampshire require employers to make accommodations for nonsmokers?

In New Hampshire, special considerations must be made for employees with medically proven conditions adversely affected by smoke, as documented by an occupational physician.

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

New Hampshire employers must have a written policy outlining either smoking prohibition or areas where smoking is permitted. The policy must be handed out or posted, and employees must receive policy orientation. If there is a designated smoking area, there must be written training procedures for enforcing smoking policy, handling complaints and violations, and accommodating employees with medical conditions.

Does New Hampshire provide employees with protection from smoking-related discrimination?

An employer may not require an employee or applicant to refrain from using tobacco products outside of work as a condition of employment, as long as the employee complies with workplace smoking policy. An employer may not retaliate or discriminate against any employee who exercises rights under smoking laws; however, laws do not give an employee the right to refuse to perform normal duties, even if the duties require entering a smoking area.

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

If you want to go right to the source and look up New Hampshire 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 N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. Sections 155:64 to 155:77, 275:37-a. 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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