Detroit to ban fragrance by employees

@bobmnu (8160)
United States
March 15, 2010 11:34pm CST
In a Federal court the City of Detroit lost a case against an employee who complained about perfume a co worker was wearing and saying it made it hard for her to do her work because of the smell. What makes this case interesting is it was filed under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). When the ADA was introduced it was to make access to places and to have reasonable accommodation made in the work place. We were told that things like having wheel chair access to building, lever handles rather than round ones and it would make the world and work place more friendly to the handicapped. Now it has become a tool to force total equality or no one gets to do it. An Example a lady in a wheel chair wanted to take a gondola to the top of a ski mountain to enjoy the view. The car pass over a wildness valley (with no roads into it) where it was almost 200 feet above the ground. The courts ruled that each car had to beable to lower and rescue a person in a wheel chair. The cost to outfit each care would reduce the cars capacity and the number of people needed to perform the rescue could not fit in the car with a wheel chair. The answer - shut down the car and nobody gets to go to the top. http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2010/03/14/news/doc4b9d4ced56e51491215452.txt Now the workers inside of the city building can not use colognes, aftershave lotions, perfumes, deodorants, body/face lotions ... (and) the use of scented candles, perfume samples from magazines, spray or solid air fresheners. What is it going to be like in the summer with no deodorant?
4 responses
• United States
16 Mar 10
I am sure there are odorless antipersperants. I am sure anything covered by clothes won't send out as powerful a fragrance as perfume or after shave. Some people get strong migraines or allergic reactions to perfumes. And some people tend to overdo it. It's all about having mutual respect.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
16 Mar 10
Should I be able to sue because there is only one Deodorant that I can use and it has a smell to it. If I use any other I get a rash. If I don not use an after shave my face dries out and is very uncomfortable for me. Where do the rights of one person interfere with the rights of another? Should one person have the right to tell several hundred or even thousands what they can an can not do? That is what is happening with ADA if one person can not do it then nobody can or if one person is affected by something we all have to change. What if this employee sues because of the smell of food in the lunch room will everybody have to change what they eat? Where does it stop?
• United States
16 Mar 10
You know when you buy things, like, lets say green beans, and the packaging says "manufactured in a facility that also manufactures peanuts, dairy, etc". That is a warning label, because the green beans could contain some food allergens, and could potentially be fatal. In the case of fragrance, perhaps it could trigger an allergic reaction or an asthma attack. I do agree that the HR department should have addressed this, but, we don't know the factors involved. And, maybe the HR department wanted to cite the reasoning was due to a policy enforced by the ADA so that those who are requested not wear fragrance don't feel like their rights to wear fragrance are being ignored. It is not like people are arbitrarily suing people because of their distaste for a paisley shirt their coworker is wearing, but, rather, these could be serious health issues. Maybe the ADA has received enough complaints and seen enough frivolous lawsuits, that to preclude any more, they came up with this policy. I don't use a wheelchair, but I do see many ramps around. Should that upset me? Nah. I get your point, but I really don't think this is similar to lawsuits about hot coffee being spilled in a lap.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
23 Mar 10
From the article I read she said it was annoying her and she could not do her work. It didn't sound like she was having health problems with it. I know many people with disabilities or Health Problems and they tend to gravitate towards careers where they are not restricted by their conditions. What is needed is more following the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law.
• United States
23 Mar 10
I see both sides of this issue. And common sense should have been able to deal with this instead of a court of law. I once worked in an office with a woman who was allergic to alot of the perfumes...even the stuff in hairspray. So everyone was just told to careful about it. We were. We did not want to make her sick so we were careful. I think it is a respect factor. If it is a "health" reason...then people need to work with that person. If it is just "I dont like the perfume you wear"...then they need to get over it. But HR should have handled this....it wasted the courts time. I also think it is stupid that NONE can wear it at all now.
@Destiny007 (5820)
• United States
16 Mar 10
I can see both sides of this. A total ban is not the answer... as you say, summer could be really rough under those conditions. However, I also dislike when individuals put so much perfume on that it overpowers everything else. I have had allergic reactions to some of these perfumes, and it is really rough, especially in a closed area. This is an issue where a little bit goes a long way.
@LaurenInLA (2272)
• United States
16 Mar 10
How ridiculous is this and how ridiculous that the Courts actually chose to hear a case like this????? This is something that should easily have been able to be solved among the employees in question and if they were unable to do so, it shouldn't ahve gone beyond a supervisory or an HR level.