Share your experience: curing the odor problem

Each week, we post a question that the law doesn’t answer. But we know you can! What’s your best practice when it comes to dealing with this issue? To weigh in on the conversation, simply post a comment below. It’s easy – no sign-up is required!

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This week’s question:

Q: I have an employee who stinks. Literally. My other employees find his pungent odor distracting and I can only imagine what customers think. What can I do?

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6 thoughts on “Share your experience: curing the odor problem

  1. Ed says:

    I’ve been there! You cannot ignore the situation and the sooner you address this with the offending employee, the sooner it is resolved. It is a delicate situation. I handled it at first as a mentor to a subordinate, however that did not help and then it became a progressive disciplinary problem with specific time lines. With the latter situation, your company policies and state labor board regulations will have to be followed.

  2. Jerry says:

    It has to be explained to the employee that not only is the odor not condusive to a positive work environment but it also can turn into a sanitation (unhealthy) issue.

  3. Cindy says:

    We had this happen years ago and we had an employee on staff that was a nurse so we asked her to approach the employee with sensitivity and focus on potential medical situations that could be causing the odor. The employee thanked her because it turned out they had one of the medical conditions that can cause excessive body odor. Also, some employees do not have the ability to sense certain odors or can only smell very strong odors so, again, they need to be told with sensitivity but honesty.

  4. I have had this problem a few times over the years. One situation in particular resulted in a grateful employee. Her body odor was brought to my attention several times by other employees. so i called her in and explained that there was a concern about her odor. she was forthright and admitted that she has been taking garlic pills as a supplement. we deduced that must be the culprit of the odor. she stopped taking garlic pills and odor stopped. so you see, sometimes it can be a happy ending.

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