LANGUAGE

Saenz Sibaja v. Municipality of Oreamuno

The plaintiff filed an appeal for legal protection against his employer, the Municipality of Oreamuno, claiming that the smoking area near the dining area of the government building where he worked constituted a violation of the domestic tobacco control laws, including the federal law implementing the FCTC.  Additionally, the plaintiff claimed the smoking area violated his right to health and his right to a healthy and safe work environment. The Regulatory Law on Smoking (Ley de Regulación del Fumado) prohibits smoking in public offices, except in specific regulated areas that must be kept as far away as possible from dining areas where other workers could be affected. The Court ordered the Municipality of Oreamuno to relocate the smoking area away from shared spaces.  The Court held that just requiring a smoker to abstain from smoking while other workers are around is an insufficient measure as it creates a harmful working environment. The Court ordered the Municipality to pay costs and damages to anyone affected by the smoking area.