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Council Period 12
Council Period 13
Councilmember Adrian M. Fenty
A BILL IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Councilmembers Fenty and Patterson introduced the
following bill, which was referred to the Committee on Public Works
and the Environment.
To amend Title 7, Chapter 17 of the D.C. Official Code to
create smokefree work environments in all enclosed public and private
workplaces in the District of Columbia, and to establish penalties
for the violation of smokefree workplace regulations.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
That this Act may be cited as the “Smokefree Workplaces
Act of 2003”.
Sec. 2. Chapter 17 of Title 7 of the D.C. Official Code
is amended as follows:
(a) Section 7-1701 is amended to read as follows:
“(a) The Council of the District of Columbia finds that
the inhalation of secondhand smoke resulting from the smoking of
tobacco inside facilities in which the public congregates is a clear
danger to health and a cause of discomfort to persons in such
“(b) The Council of the District of Columbia further
finds that numerous studies have found that tobacco smoke is a major
contributor to indoor air pollution and that breathing secondhand
smoke (also known as environmental tobacco smoke) is a cause of
disease in healthy nonsmokers, including heart disease, stroke,
respiratory disease, and lung cancer.
“(c) The Council further finds that secondhand smoke is
a known carcinogen.
“(d) The Council further finds that the U.S. Surgeon
General has determined that the simple separation of smokers and
nonsmokers within the same air space may reduce, but does not
eliminate, the exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand 1smoke. The
Environmental Protection Agency has determined that secondhand smoke cannot be reduced to safe levels in businesses by high rates of
ventilation. Air cleaners, which are only capable of filtering the
particulate matter and odors in smoke, do not eliminate the known
toxins in secondhand smoke.
“(e) A significant amount of exposure to secondhand
smoke occurs in the workplace. A study published in Tobacco Control
found that employees who work in smoke-filled businesses suffer a
25-50% higher risk of heart attack and higher rates of death from
cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as increased acute
respiratory disease and measurable decrease in lung function.
“(f) A study published in Business and Health found
that smoke-filled workplaces result in higher workplace absenteeism
due to respiratory disease, lower productivity, higher cleaning and
maintenance costs, increased health insurance rates, and increased
liability claims for diseases related to exposure to secondhand smoke.
“(g) The purpose of this subchapter is to protect the
public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in public places and
places of employment.”.
(b) Section 7-1702 is amended to read as follows:
“For the purposes of this chapter:
“(1) “Employee” means a person who is employed by
an employer volunteers his or her services for an entity.
“(2) “Employer” means a person, business,
partnership, association, corporation, including a municipal
corporation, trust, or an entity that employs the services of one or
more individual persons.
"(3) "Enclosed Area" means an indoor area
that is neither open or partially enclosed, except normal means of
access and egress through doors or passageways.
“(4) “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of
Columbia or the Mayor’s designated agent.
“(5) “Person” means any individual, firm,
partnership, association, corporation, company, or organization of
any kind, including a government agency, to which the health and
safety laws of the District of Columbia may be applied.
“(6) “Place of Employment” means an area under the
control of a public or private employer that employees may frequent
during the course of employment, including, but not limited to, work
areas, employee lounges, restrooms, conference rooms, meeting rooms,
classrooms, employee cafeterias, hallways, taxis and other vehicles
used for business purposes. A private residence is not a place of employment unless it is used as a child care, adult day
care, educational or health care facility.
"(7) “Public Place” means an enclosed area to which
the public is invited or in which the public is permitted, including
but not limited to, banks, bars, educational facilities, food service
establishments, health care facilities, laundromats, nightclubs, pool
halls, public transportation facilities, reception areas, restaurants,
retail food production and marketing establishments, retail service
establishments, retail stores, shopping malls, sports arenas, taverns,
theaters, and waiting rooms. A private residence is not a public place
unless it is used as a child care, adult day care, educational or health
“(8) “Smoking” means the act of puffing, having in
one’s possession, holding or carrying a lighted or smoldering
cigar, cigarette, pipe, or smoking equipment of any kind or lighting
a cigar, cigarette, pipe or smoking equipment of any kind.”.
(c) Section 7-1703 is amended to read as follows:
“Smoking shall be prohibited in the following:
“(1) Any public place;
“(2) Any enclosed place of employment;
“(3) Any elevator, except in a single family home.”.
(d) Sections 7-1703.01, 7-1703.02 and 7-1703.03 are
(e) Section 7-1704 is amended to read as follows:
“(a) In any place, elevator, or vehicle in which
smoking is prohibited, the owner, manager, or person in charge of the place,
elevator, or vehicle shall post or cause to be posted signs that read, "No Smoking Under
Penalty of Law". Signs posted shall 1 clearly state the maximum
fine for a violation of this subchapter. Signs shall be visible to the
public at the entrance to the area and on the interior of the area in
sufficient number in a manner that gives notice to the public of the
applicable law. Signs shall also include a number to call to report
violations of this subchapter.
“(b) Where smoking is prohibited pursuant to this
subchapter all signs posted shall include the internationally recognized no
“(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to obscure,
remove, deface, mutilate, or destroy any sign posted in accordance with
the provisions of this subchapter.
“(d) All ashtrays and other smoking paraphernalia shall
be removed by the owner, operator, manager, or other person having
control of the area from any area where smoking is prohibited under
(f) Section 7-1705 is amended to read as follows:
“(a) The owner, lessee, manager, operator or other
person in charge of a facility or vehicle where smoking is prohibited pursuant
to this chapter shall:
“(1) Post and maintain the appropriate "No
“(2) Ask persons observed smoking in violation of this
subchapter to refrain from smoking; and
“(3) Not provide service to persons in violation of
“(b) Whenever the owner, lessee, manager or operator of
a facility covered by this subchapter requires a license issued by
the District of Columbia government in order to operate the facility,
the owner, lessee, manager or operator shall comply with this
subchapter as a requirement for receiving or renewing the license. Where an on-site inspection is required prior to issuance
or renewal of a license, the inspector should certify that the
appropriate signs have been posted. In those cases where an on-site
inspection is not needed, a signed statement by the applicant that he
has complied with this subchapter shall constitute sufficient evidence
of compliance as required in this subsection. Violation of this
subchapter shall be grounds for license suspension or revocation.”
“(c) The Mayor is authorized to promulgate any
regulations needed to carry out the provisions of this subchapter.
“(d) An aggrieved person or class of persons may bring
an action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for
injunctive relief to prevent any owner, lessee, manager, operator or
person otherwise in charge of a facility or vehicle where smoking is
prohibited pursuant to this subchapter from violating, or continuing to
violate, any provision of this subchapter. For the purposes of this
subsection, an "aggrieved person" shall be defined as any
person subjected to tobacco smoke due to failure to comply with this
(g) Section 7-1706 is amended to read as follows:
“(a) Any person who violates any provision of this
subchapter, other than §8 of D.C. Law 3-22, by:
“(1) Smoking in a posted "No Smoking" area or
defacing or removing a "No Smoking" sign, or failing to
post warning signs as set forth in § 7-1704(a) shall, upon
conviction, be punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than
$100 for a 1st offense; and not less than $200 nor more than $1,000
for each 2nd or subsequent offense; or
“(2) Obscuring, removing, defacing, mutilating or
destroying any sign posted in accordance with the provisions of this
subchapter shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine of not more
than $500; or
“(3) Failing to post or cause to be posted or to
maintain "No Smoking" signs and by failing to warn a smoker
observed to be smoking in violation of this subchapter to stop
smoking, as required by this subchapter, shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine of not more than $500. Each and every day that the
violation continues shall constitute a separate offense, and the
penalties provided for in this paragraph shall be applicable to each
separate offense; provided, that such penalties shall not be levied
against any employee or officer of any branch, agency or instrumentality
of the District of Columbia government.
“(4) Failing to remove ash trays from public places or
places of employment shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine
of not more than $500. Each and every day that the violation
continues shall constitute a separate offense, and the penalties
provided for in this paragraph shall be applicable to each separate
offense; provided, that such penalties shall not be levied against
any employee or officer of any branch, agency or instrumentality of
the District of Columbia government.
“(b) The Mayor is authorized to establish procedures
for the issuance of a citation to any person who violates this
subchapter requiring the person to post collateral in accordance with
§ 16-704 to assure the person's appearance in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to answer the citation, and such collateral may
be forfeited in lieu of an appearance as the Court may direct.
“(c) Issuances of citations pursuant to subsection (b)
of this section shall not constitute arrests nor shall forfeitures of collateral
pursuant to said subsection constitute convictions. Records which may
be maintained in connection with the implementation of this section
shall not constitute records of arrest under § 5-113.02, relating to
arrest records, or paragraph (4) of § 5-113.01.
“(d) Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as
alternative sanctions for any infraction of the provisions of this
subchapter, or any rules or regulations issued under the authority of
this subchapter, pursuant to §2-1801.01 et seq. Adjudication of 7 any
infraction of this subchapter shall be pursuant to §2-1801.01 et
(h) Section 7-1708 is repealed.
(i) Add a new Section 7-1711 to read:
“No person or employee shall discharge, refuse to hire,
or in any manner retaliate against an employee, applicant for
employment, or customer because that employee, applicant, or customer
exercises any rights afforded by this subchapter or reports or
attempts to prosecute a violation of this subchapter.”.
Sec. 3. Fiscal Impact Statement.
The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the
committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section
602(c)(3) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved
December 24, 1973.
Sec. 4. Effective Date.
This act shall take effect following the approval by the
Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to
override the veto), a 30-day period of Congressional Review as
provided by section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule
Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code §1-206-02(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia