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I was sent home from work for body odor. How do I face work tomorrow? : AskWomen

Ms. Shaw first became aware of her problem in the mids, when she was working at a school-district office. One day, she found an Ann Landers column on her desk, asking for advice on how to tell a co-worker she had body odor. The article suggested, among other things, leaving the column on the employee's desk. 12 Jan My advice (worth what you paid for it). Just go in tomorrow and pretend like nothing happened anyone else aware of the situation will do the same. If there was a problem, fix it. Nobody will remember this a couple weeks from now (nor will anyone that matters even care). besides, if a customer. 18 Oct The company ultimately terminated her husband, and she says in her lawsuit that she quit because of the harassment and discrimination her husband faced. How situations like this are handled by the employer can reduce the likelihood of an escalation. Employers should not assume that body odor or.

Amber Bridges got fired because of bad body odor, but not hers. Another employee had bad body odor and Bridges tried to solve the problem by bringing in air fresheners and others followed suit. The smelly employee complained to HR and Bridges here fired for creating a " hostile work environment.

Testing the Law: A Mysterious Matter Of Body Odor Turns Into a Federal Case | Rochelle Sharpe

A hostile work environment doesn't mean that Bridges was being rudeit means that she violated a law against illegal discrimination. You'll hear this term used most often in relationship to sexual and gender harassmentbut it can be used in a case of disability discrimination as well. Bridges is suing, rather ironically, saying her termination was a result of her association with the stinky co-worker, and that she should be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act ADA as well.

While we don't have more details than that, I can already tell where this organization went wrong and how Bridges, herself, made mistakes. Bridges, understandably, didn't want to smell foul odors at work, so she brought in air fresheners.

Well, what she should have done is either speak directly to the employee in her role as a team leader or asked the employee's manager to speak with the employee. Yes, it's emotionally easier to simply spray Febreeze everywhere, but in this case, her actions made the other employee far more uncomfortable than a simple conversation would have.

As a team lead, Bridges should have spoken to the employee privately or asked the manager or HR to do so.

Can You Be Fired For Body Odor

Whoever spoke with the employee should, according to Employment Attorney Jon Hyman "suggest that she pay some attention to her grooming before each workday. That you all have to share the work-space and its air, and everyone should try to respect each other by paying attention to some basic grooming an hygiene.

If the problem was a hygiene one, it's perfectly reasonable and not a violation of law to require employees to shower regularly and wear clean clothing. If the problem employee simply wasn't bathing and didn't respond to a team lead's suggestion, then you should escalate it to HR and let them handle it from there. Honestly, hygiene is something most HR managers learn how to handle in their first six months.

Can You Be Fired For Body Odor

What do you do if the employee reports that yes, she showers every day, yes her clothes are clean, and yes, she wears deodorant, but she still stinks, then you suggest that she see her doctor and begin the process of obtaining protection through link ADA. Chronic body odor can be covered, but the company needs the paperwork filled out.

So, the smelly employee goes to HR, gets the proper paperwork, takes it to her doctor, and then begins something called the interactive process. An employee with an ADA covered disability is entitled to a "reasonable accommodation" and that is determined through a back and forth with the employer. Hanging air fresheners may end up being the solution, but that wouldn't be the only one.

The important thing to do is have the back and forth and come to a solution that is satisfactory. This solution doesn't have to be the employee's first choice, but it does have to be reasonable for all parties.

There are some disabilities, of course, which cannot be reasonably accommodated.

5 Sources of Body Odor That Aren't Just Sweat

A person with chronic body odor who works with a computer can be in a private office, but there probably isn't a reasonable accommodation for a waiter with chronic body odor. While I'm neither a lawyer nor an expert on body odor discrimination, it's pretty clear that her termination here a result of her relationship with the smelly employee, but rather her actions towards said co-worker.

I can't see her winning. You're about to be redirected We notice you're visiting us from a region where we have a local version of Inc. Enter your email to reset your password. Or sign up using:.

My boss says I smell bad

Sign in if you're already registered. Straight to Your Inbox. If an employee makes you hold your breath when she walks by, can you do anything?

Suzanne Lucas is a freelance writer who spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers, and double-checked with the lawyers. Passive Aggressiveness Never Solves Anything Bridges, understandably, didn't want to smell foul odors at work, so she brought in air fresheners. What Should Bridges Have Done?

Hang each piece up on its own hanger in the bathroom, with plenty of space between them. That's known as the spotlight effect. Did I miss something in the description? Honestly, hygiene is something most HR managers learn how to handle in their first six months.

But What if It Was a Disability? The Interactive Process An employee with an ADA covered disability is entitled to a "reasonable accommodation" and that is determined through a back and forth with the employer.

Shaw has been examined by an internist, a dermatologist, a psychiatrist and an endocrinologist. I would often make sure to shut my door when she was getting ready because her body spray smell would linger into my room. Water place to live! I bet you looked bitchin.

Will Bridges Win Her Lawsuit? The opinions expressed here by Inc.