Does your employer have the right to ask you not to smoke while on your coffee break? What's your opinion?
Unlike Obesity (which may or may not be out of the control of the person), smoking is a choice a person voluntarily makes. If a person has the choice to smoke, why doesn't the employer have the right to hire that person or not?
Salaried vs hourly issues aside, breaks and lunch are different senarios altogether. When an employer gives a break, then the employee does not clock out. He is still on company time. In this instance, I say the employer can ban smoking. During lunch when the employee clocks out, then he is on his own time and can do anything (legal) he wants.
I have worked with smokers. They are far less productive, they stink, and they are grouchy when they need a fix...
I'm all for a smoke-free enviroment. However, you do make a great point...if you are on break and still on the clock then, "yes" I agree the employer has ever right to ask you not to light up. However, if you clock on and still on company property...well, not that is pretty tricky.
I believe that smoking is a part of human rights. Most establishments have a no smoking policy or they have a smoking area for those who does smoke. So, whenever it is your break I think you can smoke as long as it is not in the NON-SMOKING place. Everything that an employer tells you to do must be a part of your job. And I do not think one of them is NOT TO SMOKE. :)
To answer our question, you will have to check with your state or county heath department as far as government regulations. Each state is different. Also, an employer can ban smoking on his property. There are exceptions though. Some employers have set up smoking areas on site. Also, If you punch out and leave property during your break, the employer has no control over your actions.