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Workplace Smoking Rules in Wisconsin

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

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

Smoking is prohibited in workplaces including public places, restaurants, taverns, and other indoor workplaces, with certain limited exceptions.

Employers covered: Employers with one or more employees.

Written policy requirements: Employer policy not specified.

Posting requirements: Signs either prohibiting or permitting smoking must be conspicuously posted.

No smoking areas: Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed places that are public places or places of employment. Place of employment means any enclosed place that employees normally frequent during the course of employment, including:

  • an office
  • a work area
  • an elevator
  • an employee lounge
  • a restroom
  • a conference room
  • a meeting room
  • a classroom
  • a hallway
  • a stairway
  • a lobby
  • a common area
  • a vehicle
  • an employee cafeteria

In addition, under Wisconsin law, smoking is specifically prohibited in many public and enclosed places.

Permitted smoking areas: There are limited exceptions to the smoking ban for private residences, assisted living facilities and retail tobacco stores.

Certain cigar bars and specialty tobacco shops in existence prior to July 5, 2010, are exempt from the smoking ban.

Businesses may establish an outdoor smoking area that cannot be regulated by local governments.

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