Employees are protected, by law, from exposure to second-hand smoke and vapour in an enclosed workplace. This is defined as the inside of any place, building, structure, or vehicle (or any part of them) that is covered by a roof and that employees work or spend time in during their work day, even during off-hours when people are not working. For example, an enclosed workplace includes an office building, the inside of a trailer office on a construction site, or a delivery truck (work vehicle).
The prohibition on smoking tobacco or holding lighted tobacco in an enclosed workplace or an enclosed public place does not apply to:
An employer may provide employees who smoke or vape with a shelter outdoors for the purpose of smoking or vaping. The shelter must not have more than two walls and a roof, and must comply with other rules in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017.
For example, cafeterias in a workplace are treated the same as a restaurant in which food or drink are served, sold, or offered. As such, smoking and vaping is not permitted inside the cafeteria or on outdoor patios that are part of or next to the cafeteria.
An employer includes an owner, manager or overseer of a workplace or job site who is responsible for, directly or indirectly, an employee.
An employee is:
An employer cannot:
If this were to happen, the employee may file a complaint in accordance with the procedure set out in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
For more information about filing a complaint, please call the Ministry of Labour: Toll-free: 1-800-531-5551
Or visit the Ministry of Labour Website.
Local public health units carry out inspections and respond to complaints about smoking and vaping in enclosed workplaces.
An individual who violates the prohibition on smoking or vaping in an enclosed workplace may be charged with an offence, and on conviction could be subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 (for a first offence) or $5,000 (for any further offence).
An employer that fails to fulfill their responsibility under the law may be charged with an offence, and if convicted, could face a maximum fine:
Retaliation against an employee
This page is intended as a quick reference only and should not be considered to be legal advice.
Print the Enclosed Workplaces Fact Sheet.