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If you are "on the clock" at work are they liable for damages for mandating you leave the property?

Youngstown, OH |

After working for my current company for 3 months, after being advised must smoke off property (which I normally smoke on the property next door that is a city/state owned beautiful the city campaign area on the CITY sidewalk) I am now being advised that I have to be off premesis, not in view of any of the company owned buildings, yet I am still clocked in due to breaks being paid to employees. Would the company be liable if there were something to happen to me or another co-worker that smokes?

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Attorney answers 3


You have not provided nearly enough details to answer your question. Smoking is NOT an accommodation in the same sense as eating or using the restroom. Generally, I do not believe any injury incurred on such an excursion would be compensible.

If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Links:



We have been able to do this on the adjacent property for 3 months, I would provide more detail if there was more detail. Unfortunately before today this was not an issue, and we were advised as of today we must go away to where we are not visible from any of the buildings, which with the location the way it is, must be a ways down the road. The reasoning for my question was that as I drove around (this area is a pretty bad area to begin with) to smoke, I noticed a vehicle trailing me, I was driving with no destination yet every turn they were still there. I'm hoping maybe that helps a bit. It is not the same as bodily functions or nurishment, understandable, it's not the smoking that I'm worried about, if for ANY reason they mandate that you leave while clocked in, regardless of the reasoning, they would in most circumstances be liable as far as my knowledge would go.

Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

Charles Joseph Michael Candiano


I do appreciate your concerns but my opinion remains unaltered.


That will depend, and your facts are a little light. My recommendation would be to wear natural fibers, and carry a bottle of water in case you ACCIDENTALLY drop your lit cigarette into your smoking buddy's hair.

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I don't believe you would be covered, since your injury would have not arisen out of the course of your employment.

Attorney Sternberg is admitted to the practice of law only in the State of Ohio. His answering of this question does not constitute an attorney client relationship, nor can his answer be relied on since the question does not permit Attorney Sternberg to seek additional information necessary to render an legal opinion.

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