Federal Employee Labor Union Files Grievance Against VA’s Smoking Ban

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The Department of Veterans Affairs’ new smoking ban took effect on Oct. 1, prohibiting all patients and non-staff from smoking on VA hospital premises. In January the ban will extend to employees.

The smoke-free policy was created to initiate a healthier environment and improve care for veterans, but the American Federation of Government Employees argues that the ban violates the labor union’s contract.

A 2008 contract that is still in effect states that all VA facilities will provide employees with “reasonably accessible designated smoking areas.” However, the ban does not allow any smoking while on VA property, including parking areas.

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