West Virginia Laws on Smoking in the Workplace

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

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What kinds of workplaces are subject to West Virginia workplace smoking laws?

West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia, in what parts of the workplace is smoking prohibited? Where is smoking permitted?

West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia workplaces?

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

Does West Virginia require employers to make accommodations for nonsmokers?

West Virginia 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 West Virginia?

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

Does West Virginia provide employees with protection from smoking-related discrimination?

An employer may not refuse to hire, discharge, or penalize an employee with respect to compensation, conditions of employment, or other benefits for using tobacco products offsite during nonwork hours. It is not discrimination to have insurance policies with different rates or coverage for smokers if the difference is based on cost to the employer, and employees are given a notice of carriers' rates.

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

If you want to go right to the source and look up West Virginia 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 W.Va. Code Section 21-3-19. 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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