Employee Sues City Over Co-Worker's Perfume, Seeks Ban on Scents

A Detroit city employee who says she can't work because a co-worker's perfume is too strong is suing the city.

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.

McBride 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.

McBride alleges the scents forced her to miss significant time from work, require medical treatment, and to suspend fertility treatments because of other medications she has to take, according to The Detroit News.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.