Q: What needs to be in the policy?
A: When implementing a new policy, employers should consider the purpose of the policy. For example, is the employer simply trying to comply with Oklahoma's new ban on lighted cigarettes in indoor workplaces? Or does the employer view e-cigarettes as posing health risks and decreasing productivity along with tobacco products? Or is the employer concerned with fairness issues if it allows e-cigarettes but not tobacco use? The employer needs to answer these questions to determine the best policy for its workplace. Employers should put their smoke-free or tobacco-free workplace policies in writing and provide notice to employees before the policy goes into effect. The policy should clearly state at a minimum whether there are any areas where smoking/e-cigarettes/tobacco use will be allowed; which products are/are not allowed; and the consequences for noncompliance with the policy.
PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER