Rhode Island Laws on Smoking in the Workplace

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

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What kinds of workplaces are subject to Rhode Island workplace smoking laws?

Workplace smoking laws apply all enclosed facilities within places of employment.

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

Smoking shall be prohibited in all enclosed facilities within places of employment, and required signs must be posted. An employer may designate an outdoor smoking area.

What are the requirements for designated smoking areas in Rhode Island workplaces?

In Rhode Island, smoking areas must be physically separate from enclosed workspace to prevent smoke from getting into the workplace.

Does Rhode Island require employers to make accommodations for nonsmokers?

Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island?

Rhode Island employers must communicate their smoking policy to all employees and all applicants for employment. 

Does Rhode Island provide employees with protection from smoking-related discrimination?

An employer may not prohibit the use of tobacco outside of work and cannot discriminate in compensation, terms, or benefits for tobacco use outside of work or retaliate against an employee for reporting or attempting to prosecute a violation of the law.

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

If you want to go right to the source and look up Rhode Island 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 R.I. Gen. Laws Sections 23-20.10-1 to 23-20.10-14. 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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