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Dear Jido

One of the women I work with always smokes in the ladies room. If the smell stayed there I wouldn’t really mind, but my cubicle is close enough to the ladies room, (or maybe adjacent to a common vent), so that I smell the smoke at least a few times a day. The smell really bothers me and I know it’s not healthy. I have tried asking her politely not to smoke where I will end up smelling it and she agreed. Would it be wrong to complain to her boss about it as well?

Refusing to Inhale

Dear Refusing to Inhale,

Simply put, this woman is breaking the NYC Smoke Free Air Act of 2002 and putting your boss and the office personnel in jeopardy.

The best I can do is to refer you to the following website:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/smoke/tc5.pdf.

The law, which went into effect on March 30, 2003, made virtually all establishments and businesses with employees smoke-free. These include:

• All office buildings, factories, and warehouses.

• All private offices and previously designated “smoking lounges.”

• All food service establishments, restaurants, and catering halls.

To comply with the law:

• Employers must ensure their workplace smoking policy reflects the law.

Employees must be informed about the law, including what they must do to comply with the law. This entails requesting that smokers refrain from smoking inside the workplace and referring to the law and to workplace policy when dealing with their refusals.

• Employers should remind employees that the business or building owner may incur fines in the case of their infractions.

I suggest you print out that page and leave it on her desk. You can sign it – and then she just may get the hint.

Love, Jido