I'm not a smoker but if they get a break, I want one too...
At a recent Management meeting, the topic of employees 'over-using' smoking breaks came up. It was brought to my attention that a couple of employees at one of our office facilities decided that they didn't need to be smokers to take smoke breaks. One employee (Emp. A) frequently accompanied her co-worker/friend (Emp. on her smoke break so they could 'catch up' on their days. When confronted and asked why she was taking a smoke break if she wasn't a smoker, Emp. A indicated that she should be given 'equal time to pause her work activities' as Emp. B was. For completely unrelated reasons, she's no longer with us but...it's bound to come up again. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
What are your thoughts about non-smokers taking smoke breaks, or 'allowed equal time to pause their work activities’ as a smoker?
FYI, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><?xml:namespace prefix = u1 />Iowa does not have a mandatory break law - meaning that as an employer we don't have to give ANY kind of break. However, we do give lunch breaks (unpaid) and of course we allow employees time for personal needs, meaning bathroom breaks - and if the employee is a smoker, a smoke break. Breaks are completely at the discretion of the manager.
We do have a break policy and a smoking policy in our handbook but neither covers a non-smoker wanting a smoke break.