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4447 Views 21 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Rich
I'm in the process of putting all my polices in writing in the form of an employee handbook. I've been thinking about banning smoking. My current employee smokes and is allowed to smoke during his break but that is it. At the very least, this would be my policy, though I'd love to get rid of it altogether.

Has anyone banned it entirely? Are there any legal issues to consider?

I used to smoke and couldn't care less what people do when they're not at work but don't like the image it presents about Mack Painting.


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I think this is a tough issue . . .

What do I really want to do? No smoking ever at all. If you walk away from the customer's house, you're still wearing a company shirt, or standing by the company van, waving to the neighbor driving by while you exhale, smelling like smoke when you come back into the house.

I think the reason I posed the question is to see if people hammered me for being too heavy-handed or something.

Thanks for the great responses. I haven't decided on this one yet.

If you're planning to forbid smoking, you should just fire him.
Any smoker or ex-smoker knows it's nearly impossible to refrain from lighting up for 8 hours or more.
He'll find a place to light up when he thinks you're not looking.
You may find him.
Then what?
If everything else about him is good, you may wish to consider some sort of compromise.

I say this as an ex-smoker who quit with the help of gum.

I've had guys who smoked and I let them smoke on exterior work but not interior. Despite my regular repeated requests, I still found butts all over the place. On interior jobs, we were losing over an hour per day on smokers going outside to smoke. I try to avoid hiring smokers. If I had a smoker working for me, I'd probably pay him less than I would if he smoked (because of the lost time)--and offer him a small pay raise as an inducement to quit.

I'm not going to fire a good worker because I'm banning smoking! I'm going to give him an oppurtunity to succeed under the new rules. Say i do go ahead and ban it. Now he has the choice to quit, I don't need to fire him first.

Now, if he wants to take the chance of smoking while I'm not around and possibly getting caught that would also be his choice. I know for a fact, though, that he knows just as surely if I caught him being dishonest like that, he'd be gone before he could extinguish the butt, no questions, no excuses. That's the way I am and he knows it.

As for losing time to smokers, that's just another thing I already won't put up with. Smokers get breaks like everyone else. They don't get more. When you are working for me and I'm on the job, I dare you to walk outside and light up! Won't happen. Not trying to play internet tough-guy here, that's just the way it is. If an employee chose to skirt whatever the rule was when I wasn't around then, like I said, he's taking his chances.

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Come on now... I don't smoke but still believe in peoples rights here. When they pass a law stating otherwise, my opinion will change. So if they decide they don't like your rule, and smoke while on their lunch break OFF THE JOB SITE, what are you going to do fire them? Better hope they're an idiot & don't fight that one. :thumbsup:[/quote]

IF that's the rule than they should be written up, get one more chance, third time they're gone. Here's the thing, IF I make a rule it will be enforced. That's why I'm thinking so hard before I make the rule . . . Leads me to a question: Even though they've left the job for lunch (something that doesn't happen anyway on my jobs, we bring our lunch), if they're wearing my shirt can I still enforce the rules in my handbook while they're at a deli or something? Anyone know, legally?

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