Wisconsin Laws on Smoking in the Workplace

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

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

Workplace smoking laws apply to all places of employment, which covers any enclosed place employees normally frequent in the course of employment, including offices, work areas, elevators, employee lounges, restrooms, conference and meeting rooms, classrooms, hallways, stairways, lobbies, common areas, vehicles, and employee cafeterias.

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

Smoking is prohibited in all places of employment. Wisconsin laws don’t address the specific areas of a workplace where smoking may be permitted. Remember that some workplaces might already be subject to Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin workplaces?

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

Does Wisconsin require employers to make accommodations for nonsmokers?

Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin?

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

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

An employer may not discriminate against an employee who uses or does not use lawful products offsite during nonwork hours. Use that impairs employee's ability to perform job or conflicts with a genuine occupational requirement is not protected. It is not discrimination to have insurance policies with different coverage and rates for smokers and nonsmokers if the difference is based on cost to the employer, and each employee is given a written statement of carriers' rates.

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

If you want to go right to the source and look up Wisconsin 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 Wis. Stat. Ann. Sections 101.123, 111.35. 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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