Portland leaders approve anti-scent policy

Portland leaders approve anti-scent policy

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by Randy Neves and KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 17 at 9:19 AM

Poll:
Do you think creating an anti-scent policy was a good use of Portland commissioners' time?
Poll:
How do people's scents affect your workplace?

PORTLAND, Ore. -- City leaders unanimously agreed to pass a new policy discouraging personal scented products in the work-place, saying such products can irritate some people's allergies or asthma.

On Wednesday, commissioners said they would adopt the policy that discourages perfume, aftershave, cologne and the use of strongly scented powder, deodorant and other personal hygiene products.

AFSCME union spokesman Rob Wheaton said they've been in talks with the city over the issue for years.

"If someone has a legitimate bonafide allergy to a perfume it does create some serious consequences for them," Wheaton said. "Likewise on the other end of it I think employees can kind of get annoyed by not being able to wear perfumes, but overall this ordinance that they're passing just codifies what's already an existing practice."

At least one city contractor was outraged over the proposed rules.

"I think that's ridiculous," said Jeanie Braun, a city contractor. "I mean let's micromanage everything that everybody does. If someone's bothering you that has some fragrance on and you're a co-worker, you can always just address that - I don't think we need a city policy."

The policy does not address issues where an employee is exposed to fragrances in workplaces outside the City of Portland.

Wheaton acknowledges this policy could be annoying for someone who wears perfume or cologne but he hopes everyone is understanding.

A final vote is next week.

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