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Is it legal for an employer to refuse an employee smoking in their own car?

Ashland, KY |
Filed under: Employee rights

Employer forces employees to take breaks outside in dark by a creek that has snakes in it and refuses to allow employees to smoke or take breaks in their own vehicles outside on employer parking lot. Legal or illegal?

Why can't we take a cigarette break in our own car instead of being forced to go smoke by a creek that is snake-infested in the dark?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Employers can have smoking policies. They have a right to say where people can and cannot smoke on their property. So snakes it is, or you could not smoke at work.

This is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. This is for education and informational purposes only. It is always recommended that you contact an attorney with any concerns as each individual case is unique.

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Asker

Posted

What about an employee's right to smoke in their own vehicle on their own break?

Bennett James Wills

Bennett James Wills

Posted

It's not so much to do with the "vehicle" itself, but rather the location on the property. Property owners can dictate these things. Just as you can ask someone not to smoke in your house, but rather on your back porch, the employer can dictate where you smoke. Can you drive down the street for your smoke breaks?

Asker

Posted

Thank you; I was told by law enforcement that they believed it was illegal to refuse us the right to smoke in our own vehicle, so I thought to ask an Attorney.

Posted

In Kentucky, you cannot be discriminated against for being a smoker, but you have to comply with all workplace rules. If your break is unpaid, you should be allowed to leave the property and smoke. But note, that the employer does not have to give you breaks for smoking, just an unpaid lunch period if you qualify (number of hours worked in a row) and a 10 minute paid break for every four hours worked.

Sending an email or posting a question does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney client privilege. The comments and opinions expressed in Kevin Monsour's comments are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Reading or using the information in this blog does not create the existence of an attorney-client privilege. Due to the changing nature of the law, the blog posts may contain dated material. For an update on the current law and the application of the law to your particular facts and circumstances, consult a legal advisor. The information contained herein is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your state.

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