Friday, March 12, 2010

It Pays to Have a Perfume Allergy...$100K


I am totally allergic to some scents. Fake flowers, Obsession perfume and those pine tree shaped air fresheners make me break out in hives, get a headache and labor breathing if I remain in the vicinity. As much as I would never think to tell someone else to refrain from using these things, I also can't imagine being forced to sit next to one of them all day every day...

"...Susan McBride, a civil servant in Detroit, won a $100,000 settlement from the city after officials failed to accommodate her allergy to perfume. McBride complained to superiors about a coworker’s perfume, claiming the smell made it difficult for her to breath. When managers did nothing to address the situation, McBride sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act and won.

In addition to paying the hundred grand, the city, as part of the settlement, will post signs asking employees to refrain from wearing “scented products, including but not limited to colognes, after-shave lotions, perfumes, deodorants, body/face lotions, hair sprays or similar products.” (source)

Being denied a workspace removed from the offending smell is one thing, but asking everyone to change hygiene products and rituals is another. I am assuming this woman proved that she was actually allergic and didn't just dislike the scent...

I'm really vacillating on this one. $100,000 seems overly exorbitant because if she would have anaphylaxed,, I'm sure that would have been in the story... But, If she really was suffering and nothing was being done...

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