What to do about a medical condition I have and non-compliance at work with my restrictions?

UPDATED: Oct 21, 2012

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What to do about a medical condition I have and non-compliance at work with my restrictions?

I have allergic reaction to fragrances of all types, my bronchial tubes tighten up and I have to use doctor prescribed medications. My condition is known by most of the personnel. Our department was recently moved near HR Safety where 2 of the employees wear perfume. When I mentioned asking them to refrain from wearing it to work to the head of HR, he stated the company could not ask the employees to stop wearing fragrances. What would be the best route to take to resolve this? I would prefer to keep my job and not file a lawsuit, which they would find other reasons to let me go if I did.

Asked on October 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A company could ask its staff to not wear fragrances, just as a company could promulgate a dress code, a grooming code, etc. An employer has an obligation to make "reasonable accomodations" for employees with disabilities; therefore, IF your condition rises to the level of being considered a disability (which it may; but it's not certain that it does), the company would seem to have to accomodate you by banning fragrences, since that is a reasonable (not costly or disruptive) thing to do.

If you company will not voluntarily accomodate you, you should either contact the state labor department or speak with an employment law attorney about whether in this case, given the nature of your condition, your company might be required to accomodate you. Note that if the company will not voluntarily do this, a lawsuit or other legal action would be the only way to compel them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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