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Co workers smells really bad!

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  • Co workers smells really bad!

    I have been complaining to my manager about a co worker who smells like BO. I know that our co. HR has spoken to this co worker privately, also warned the employee that she could be sent home if they received anymore complaints. She continues to come to work smelling like clothing left in a washing machine for days. This is becoming a bad situation for me and another co worker who sits behind me. I am having a hard time focusing on my work, I find myself going on more and more breaks just to get a break from the smell.

    I told my boss about it today, she said she will speak with HR again to arrange another meeting with this employee. In the meantime what am I to do? Is there anything that I can legally do for my health and sanity?

  • #2
    You've already done everything you can do. It's in HR/Management's hands now.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Bring in a bottle of febreeze and randomly spray the office area, yourself and your space every half hour. That stuff is amazing, grab the purple bottle it's got the strongest scent.

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      • #4
        When you ask what can you "legally" do, do you mean taking some kind of legal action, or what can you do that's within the law?

        I don't think there is any legal action that can be taken.

        But with regard to acting within the law, I agree with the Febreeze idea. Or, get some of that menthol heat-rub stuff and dab a little right under your nose. You won't smell anything but menthol. Medical examiners who do autopsies use something similar so they won't get ill from the smell of corpses.

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        • #5
          Scented candles?
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TSCompliance View Post
            When you ask what can you "legally" do, do you mean taking some kind of legal action, or what can you do that's within the law?

            I don't think there is any legal action that can be taken.

            But with regard to acting within the law, I agree with the Febreeze idea. Or, get some of that menthol heat-rub stuff and dab a little right under your nose. You won't smell anything but menthol. Medical examiners who do autopsies use something similar so they won't get ill from the smell of corpses.
            Take legal action. It's Fri. HR was supposed to talk to her yesterday, I don't know why but it didn't happen. I cannot use candles as suggest by someone, it is a safety hazard, co. policy. I can't believe that I have to sit next to her and suffer because she can't practice proper hygiene.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
              Scented candles?
              This is a safety hazard, against company policy.

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              • #8
                No, there is no legal action you can take. The employer cannot be forced to deal with her the way you want them to. There may be medical or even religious reasons why she smells the way she does - I have had to deal with employees with both situations at various times - and if either is the case, the employer has very limited options.

                Sitting next to someone who smells is very unpleasant, I agree, but it is not something that provides you with legal recourse.
                The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cbg View Post
                  No, there is no legal action you can take. The employer cannot be forced to deal with her the way you want them to. There may be medical or even religious reasons why she smells the way she does - I have had to deal with employees with both situations at various times - and if either is the case, the employer has very limited options.

                  Sitting next to someone who smells is very unpleasant, I agree, but it is not something that provides you with legal recourse.
                  Well, I guess I'd better buy some Fabreeze then. I'd like to Thank You for your time and advice.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by VVOPS View Post
                    This is a safety hazard, against company policy.
                    Can't fault me for trying.
                    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                    • #11
                      Just a thought but have you tried talking to the person yourself? If a coworker is affecting your work performance you have every right to talk to them about it.

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                      • #12
                        I'm not sure the poster should do that. The poster already reported it to their boss who reported it to HR. HR has talked to this person. I believe I would leave it up to HR & higher ups to handle the situation.
                        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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