Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Does something smell?

This may be a joke pulled on the main stream media, or it could be an over reaching city council.

From ABC news.
And in Murpheesboro(SIC), Tenn., the city council implemented a body odor ban on its workers. Forget your deodorant and you could be breaking the law.

"If it's an odor that is offensive to those around them, and if there are complaints," a member of city council said, "then that is the test."

But that was not enough of an argument to convince the workers the ban would affect.

One worker said, "If you work, you're going to perspire, you're going to smell."
Now I can easily see this "ban" as a condition of employment. You're the boss, and you make the rules.

Note that it said you could be "breaking the law". That's a bit extreme in my view.

I cannot find this in any local paper or source, so ABC news might have been punked.
Looks like this section of the story is a few years old. Here is the DNJ article from then
Murfreesboro served notice Thursday it expects city employees to show up for
work and not smell bad.

The City Council amended the city's employee handbook to include a paragraph
mandating good hygiene and grooming while on the job.

The amended policy states: "No employee shall have an odor generally
offensive to others when reporting to work. An offensive body odor may
result from a lack of good hygiene, from an excessive application of a
fragrant aftershave or cologne or from other cause."

The need for the altered policy arose when a department head and the city's
personnel manager approached the city's legal department with a problem,
said City Attorney Susan McGannon.

"They were stymied," she said. "This is a situation where several employees
have complained. In the 11 years I've been with the city, it has only come
up this one time."

The dilemma is one employee who, despite repeated counseling, has a problem
with personal hygiene, she said. After counseling, though, the department
head had no further recourse.
There is more, but this is the meat of the story. The AbC article said you would be breaking the law, while the article said this.
The policy added Thursday includes no provisions for enforcement, but McGannon said having it spelled out allows the supervisor to council the
individual and make note of it in the employee's personnel file.
This is a proper rule for a company to make. No Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.

Thanks to the DNJ/Smyrna A.M. for information to this issue.

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