Ohio Laws on Smoking in the Workplace

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

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

Workplace smoking laws apply to any enclosed workplace. Exceptions include family owned and operated business in which all employees are related to the employer and the area is not open to the public, as long as the smoke will not migrate to nonsmoking areas.

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

Smoking is prohibited throughout the entire indoor workplace and outside immediately adjacent to entrances or exits to the building. An employer may designate the entire workplace nonsmoking. Smoking is permitted outdoors, including outdoor patios that are physically separate from enclosed areas, as long as windows and doors prevent migration of the smoke into enclosed areas.

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

In Ohio, employers must ensure that tobacco smoke does not enter enclosed areas through entrances, windows, ventilation systems, or other means.

Does Ohio require employers to make accommodations for nonsmokers?

Ohio 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 Ohio?

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

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

An employer may not discharge, refuse to hire, or in any manner retaliate against any individual for exercising any right, including reporting a violation of the law.

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

If you want to go right to the source and look up Ohio 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 Ohio Rev. Code Ann. Sections 3794.01 to 3794.09, Ohio Admin. Code Sections3701-52-01 to 3710-52-09. 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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