Smell of Victory: Detriot Court Rules in Favor of Disability Claim Based on Sensitivity to Perfume

thumb_perfume_bottleU.S. District Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff has ruled that a lawsuit by Susan McBride, a Detroit planner, can go to trial on allegations that a co-worker’s perfume made it difficult to breathe and work. The claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act could produce a major new precedent for people claiming chemical sensitivity in working around anyone with cologne or perfume.

City attorney Grant Ha argued in a June court filing that “there is no medical diagnosis of the alleged condition,” and that McBride “is not disabled because she is not substantially impaired in a major life activity.”

Various employers are now moving to create fragrance free workplaces. Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, has asked its employees and students to refrain voluntarily from wearing scented products. Likewise, Alacrity Ventures, a Berkeley, California-based venture-capital firm, not only encourages its employees to go fragrance-free but also uses only unscented janitorial products. Click here.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) can result from various chemicals beyond simply perfume and cologne.

For the full story, click here.

2 thoughts on “Smell of Victory: Detriot Court Rules in Favor of Disability Claim Based on Sensitivity to Perfume”

  1. I know about this problem first hand. I have an allergy to certain perfumes and aromas that can give me a migraine within minutes. I am not as sensitive as this person seems to be, but it is a legitimate malady. There are times that I have to politely walk away from people at a gathering because of the perfume or cologne that they are wearing. Some perfume can set me off from the other room. I hope that if this person is truly overly sensitive to these fragrances that the court understands that these are real life issues that need to be addressed in light of the ADA.

Comments are closed.