Perfume-Free Work???

Question:

New employee wears too much cologne. He was asked not to wear it in the office because other employees are getting sick. He does not care and still wears it. The owner will not say anything to him. What can be done? Please help.

Signed,

Sick of New Employee


Answer:

Dear Sick of New Employee:

Did you review the many Q&As in our Archives pertaining to perfumes within the workplace? If you had, you would learn that your concerns about irritating odors, perfumes and fragrances are not unusual. If you did not, perhaps you would find the question and advice provided by Workplace Doctor Tina Lewis Rowe of help. QA Suggestion About Fragrance In The Workplace http://workplacedoctors.com/wpdocs/qdetail.asp?id=1163 Also you can learn of efforts to have a fragrance free workplace and public spaces in such sites as · Environmental Health Network provides much advice http://users.lmi.net/~wilworks/ehnhompg/takheart.htm · An article “Detroit employee sues city over co-worker’s perfume” Thursday, July 05, 2007 at 2:59 p.m. DETROIT (AP) http://www.connectmidmichigan.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=39904 includes a lengthy blog describing efforts by employees to cope with fragrances, some successful, some not. One who sent in her recent encounter with enforcers in her fragrance free workplace, makes a case for some tolerance. · Fragrance free policies of the cities of Halifax, Nova Scotia and Santa Cruz, California are described in a piece Hugh Wilson published in The Guardian, Saturday September 18 2004 http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2004/sep/18/publichealth.weekendmagazineThere’s trouble in the air. Since there are several of you who are annoyed and sick about the new employee’s failure to respect the request to not use his shaving lotion, and your owner will not say anything, you who are bothered may have to take things into your own hands. You as individuals can each politely and firmly repeat your request each time you smell him. If that does not work, you can send him information about the adverse effects of perfumes to some people, how the smell of many perfumes, colognes, and after shaves causes severe reactions including burning eyes, headaches, sinus congestion, sore throats and hives. If this doesn’t work, you as a group can cluster around this employee to make your point. Most employees find it discomforting to be hounded. Persistence can also be annoying.

Please keep us posted. Working together with hands, head, noses, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.