Woman Sues City Over Co-Worker’s Perfume

POSTED: 6:59 am EDT July 5, 2007

DETROITAn employee in the Detroit planning department who claims she is severely sensitive to perfumes and other cosmetics has sued the city, saying a co-worker’s strong fragrance prohibits her from working.

Susan McBride’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, says the work environment is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. She wants a ban on such scents at work — and unspecified damages.

City spokesman Matt Allen declined to comment, telling The Detroit News the city does not normally comment on litigation or personnel issues.

McBride, who joined the planning department in 2000, says problems started a year ago when the co-worker, who isn’t identified in the lawsuit, transferred into her department. “This employee not only wore a strong scent, but also plugged in a scented room deodorizer,” the lawsuit states. “Ms. McBride was overcome by the smell almost instantly, causing her to go home sick.” The co-worker later agreed to stop using the room deodorizer but kept using perfume, the lawsuit states.

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