Q. We run a carry-out/catering kitchen. Can we legally tell all of our employees and customers that they can't smoke on the property? —L.D., Maryland
A. Workplace smoking laws vary from state to state. In many states, including Maryland, the law requires employers to ensure that no smoking is allowed in an enclosed workplace. Generally, most state laws also give employers free rein to ban smoking on their own premises altogether. Maryland and many other states and cities also set specific rules concerning smoking in restaurants and bars.
Bottom line: Employers should check the rules in their state and locality before taking action.