Portland sued for workplace fragrance use

Fragrance suit
On May 14, 2013, a woman filed a lawsuit against the city of Portland for not making accommodations for her her condition-- called multiple chemical sensitivity. It's triggered by perfumes and hand lotions. (KOIN 6 News graphic)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The city of Portland went fragrance-free in city offices in 2011.

Now an employee is suing the city over that policy — saying city managers aren’t doing enough to enforce it.

Julee Reynolds said she has a condition called multiple chemical sensitivity. It’s triggered by perfumes and hand lotions.

In her lawsuit, she claimed managers in the maintenance bureau did not accommodate for her sensitivity. She had to be hospitalized in 2011, and said the city never took corrective action.

On Feb. 24, 2011, the city council of Portland passed a fragrance-free policy that discouraged public workers from wearing scented products to work, according to the DailySmell.com.

“The ban effectively makes Portland the first city in the U.S. to voluntarily create with fragrance-free public spaces,” the DailySmell reports. “The action is voluntary, meaning that if someone wears aftershave or perfume, they won’t be fired on the spot. Instead a supervisor will take disciplinary action that could include making a note in the worker’s permanent file.”

The site reports that Detroit was the first city in the U.S. to establish a fragrance-free policy, in 2010. However, it did so because of legal action.

The city does not comment on pending cases.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s