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Workplace Smoking Rules in Delaware

Filed under Managing the Workplace. Fact checked on June 22, 2012.

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Employers in Delaware must comply with these state rules regulating smoking in the workplace.

Employers of 20 or more workers at an enclosed location must establish nonsmoking areas that are sufficient to accommodate nonsmoking employees or prohibit smoking in the workplace.

Employers covered: Employers with one or more employees.

Written policy requirements: Employers in Delaware must adopt and implement written smoking policies that contain at least the following provisions:

  1. that the employer will provide a work area where no smoking is allowed for employees who request one;
  2. that the employer may set aside a work area for smoking; and
  3. that the employer will provide for nonsmoking areas in employee cafeterias, lunch rooms and lounges. (Nonsmoking areas in cafeterias and lunch rooms must be sufficient to meet employee demands.)

Posting requirements: Smoking or No Smoking signs must be prominently posted and properly maintained where smoking is regulated by Delaware's Clean Indoor Air Act. Owners, operators, managers or other persons having control of covered enclosed indoor areas must post signs that indicate "Warning: Smoking Permitted" prominently in those locations where smoking is permitted pursuant to law.

No smoking areas: Delaware's Clean Indoor Air Act generally prohibits smoking in public places, including the following:

  • public meetings
  • elevators
  • government owned and/or operated means of mass transportation when occupied by passengers, including buses, vans, trains, taxicabs and limousines
  • public indoor areas of grocery stores with more than 5,000 square feet
  • gymnasiums; jury waiting and deliberation rooms, courtrooms, child care facilities, other than those located in single family dwellings
  • health care facilities

Smoking is prohibited other than in designated smoking areas in these public places: public buildings; auditoriums; theaters; museums; libraries; public schools, except in faculty lounges and private offices; other education and vocational institutions, except in faculty lounges and private offices; and food service establishments.

In food service establishments, a nonsmoking area must be designated that is sufficient to meet customer demand (it may not be determined that there is no customer demand for no-smoking areas). At each entrance to the establishment a sign must be prominently posted advising that a nonsmoking section is available and each patron must be given the opportunity to state a preference for seating in a smoking or nonsmoking area. Separate enclosed rooms may be designated as smoking areas with no nonsmoking area.

Permitted smoking areas: Designated smoking areas must be enclosed and separated from no-smoking areas.

Delaware's Indoor Air Act does not apply to:

  • private homes, residences, or automobiles
  • to indoor areas where private social functions are being held when seating arrangements are under the control of the sponsor of the function and not the person in charge of the indoor area
  • limousines under private hire
  • enclosed private boxes in indoor arenas
  • hotel or motel rooms; bars
  • tobacco businesses

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