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Your Right to a Smoke-Free Workplace

Employers must protect their employees from secondhand smoke exposure by prohibiting smoking in all enclosed areas of business facilities in Maine where employees perform work and for which the employer is responsible. The law applies to workplaces, regardless of whether they are privately owned or owned by a state or local government entity.  Smoking is prohibited in private offices. Smoking is also prohibited in employer-owned and –leased vehicles used by employees’ and is also prohibited in employee-owned vehicles used in the course of work, whenever employees are in the vehicle, or another person is in the vehicle for work-related reasons.

Employers may only allow smoking outdoors, at least 20 feet from entryways, vents, and doorways and not in a location that allows smoke to circulate back into the building.

Employers can exceed Maine law and ban smoking entirely.  Employers, however, may not refuse to hire tobacco users, not are employers allowed to discriminate against employees who smoke or use other tobacco products outside of their employment.

Employees have a right to breathe clean air that is tobacco smoke free in all indoor workplaces in Maine.

Employers must also supervise the implementation of the policy, or they are subject to a fine of up to $100 per day enforced by the Department of Human Services.

Help Your Employer Adopt a Workplace Program

Many workplaces around the state have begun programs in the workplace, and are enjoying the results of cost-effective strategies. They are finding creative ways to promote healthy, active lives, and they are starting programs that include walking, access to physical activity, eating healthy foods, health screening, and smoking cessation.

Here are some ways employees are urging employers to adopt stronger workplace programs:

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