Do I Have Rights About Headaches From Fragrances?

Our boss has asked everyone to stop with the perfumes and other sprays as people have problems with this. I get really bad headaches-migraines and so do other people in our house. This is still happening and my boss is not doing anything about it. I have let her know this is still happening and that I have a migraine due to this and need to leave work for this reason. I do not feel like I should have to use my sick time or lose pay for this reason. Do I have any rights?

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What To Do Next?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a very unpleasant matter:

Well, recently found out that a co-worker had been storing and smearing their faeces in our toilet. We found the faeces all over the basin of the sink. When asked what had happened, everyone was angered and shocked, including the guilty party.

We looked into what we could do to prevent this from happening as we have had minor cases of this in previous months. The next day the smell wasn’t going away. So my boss removed the tiles from around the sink, and behind there was lots of faeces, some in tissue some not. Other rubbish was stored behind there as well, such as wrappers and ladies feminine napkins etc…

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Employee Who Wanted Scent-Free Workplace Is Violating the Policy


I have an employee (Employee A) who complained that another employee (Employee B) was wearing an offending perfume and was causing her headaches. Employee A went to the Dr. and came back with a note that said we are to provide her a fragrance free environment.

We have instructed others not to wear anything scented and they have complied, EXCEPT Employee A – the employee requesting the fragrance free. She wears a scent that is obvious and lingers. She has denied wearing anything, but then said she just uses a scented hand cream. She was reminded that her Dr. note included her complying as well as all others.

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How Can I Find Out If I Have Bad Body Odor, So I Can Do Something About It?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors: What can I do about my body odor?


Some coworkers think I smell bad although they only say it indirectly, like speed walking when passing my desk, or not looking in my direction, or covering their noses when walking by.  I have asked my dentist and primary physician if I smell bad. They both say no. I also visited an ENT specialist for the same problem and he also said no. I’m little bit concerned because coworkers’ reactions are the same at different companies. This is quite embarrassing and I feel helpless.

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My Boss Looks and Smells Dirty. What Can I Do About It?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors: How can I get my boss to improve her hygiene?


My boss is the director of a mid-sized company and is second only to the managing director. She has recently taken over in our busy shop where we sell food and interact a lot with customers. Her hair smells like it hasn’t been washed for at least 2 weeks and it looks absolutely awful too, all straggly and greasy like it’s never brushed. Her clothes are always tatty and creased and covered in animal hair. It’s just not appropriate and it’s awful to work around as the area behind the counter is quite narrow. As a part-time employee, I have no idea how to tackle this problem and no other employee wants to help me. What can I do?

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Ten Feet Isn’t Far Enough Away To Breathe

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about restroom odors:

I work in a very small office, 6 people total. My desk is literally 10 feet away from the restroom. Several of my co-workers use this restroom daily to dump. They each sit in there, sometimes as long as 40 minutes, doing their business. When they come out, the smell is horrendous. There is a can of air freshener in the restroom, but only one person will use it. When she does, she uses so much it hurts to breathe. I’ve only worked here a few months, but I’m at my wits end. I can’t complain because my female boss is one of the worst offenders. It’s the craziest situation I’ve ever experienced. What is wrong with people??? What can I do?
It Hurts to Breathe

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Perfumes She Wears Flares Up My Nose

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about Irritating Perfume

I work in a family practice, one of our doctors wears/bathes in perfume that I know when she is in the building before I see her. No one else complains or acts like this is bothering them. The perfumes she wears instantly flare up my nose and this causes me to get irritated, I have actually used some medical orange scented spray to try to neutralize , but I am too busy to continue this on a daily basis! Now the reason I haven’t approached the office manager is because when many times I have mentioned that perfumes/colognes should not be used in a medical office, she blows it off. We do have a few signs that say not to wear perfumes as they may cause migraines or allergies to other patients or office staff.

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Body Odour

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about BO:

I have been recently accused of having body odor issue by my manager. She told me that somebody observed that and that’s how she got to know about it. I have joined this place only a week ago, and I was shocked to hear something like this for the first time in my life. I am someone who would never compromise on personal hygiene and professional appearance. I have never been accused of something like this ever before. I feel very humiliated and insulted and I don’t know how to react to this situation. Please help.

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Perfume Worn By Medical Assistant Is Too Strong!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about strong perfume:

What is the rule on wearing perfume in a doctor’s office? The back office medical assistant wears a lot of perfume. What can I do?

Signed, Holding My Nose

Dear Holding My Nose:

We have many questions in our archives about fragrances and odors at work. There is no rule about it except the rules established by individual workplaces. If you have an office manager perhaps you can discuss it with her, because clearly there needs to be a rule about fragrances in a medical office.

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Coworkers Complain About The Smell of My Lunch

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about odor from lunch:

I work in California and almost every day I bring my food to work. The reason I am bringing my food is for budget reasons. Also, I prefer the food I am used to and there is no store near my work place that sells the Asian food I prefer. (I am an Asian by the way.) My co-workers have complained about the smell of my food. But food, when you heat it, you cannot contain the smell.What should I do now? I am on budget and prefer to eat the kind of food I like, that is why I am bringing my own food. By the way, there is no policy at workplace about the food smell. Will be waiting for your advice.

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