Woman's reaction to perfume leads to interesting court case

If you go to work and are hurt on the job, then you should be able to pursue a claim for workers' compensation. In some cases, an employer may feel that they should not be held liable, but if your injury takes place on the job, the likelihood is that they will be held liable by those with the power to do so.

Scents and perfumes are often in the office, so can you pursue a claim if one sets off your asthma, if you have an allergic reaction or if you suffer a chronic lung condition as a result of exposure? If it happened while you were on the job, the chances are that you can.

Take, for example, this case of a woman who claims she was disabled by a co-worker's perfume habit. The co-worker sprayed perfume near her a few times a day, and she claimed it made her chronic lung condition worse.

Should the company be liable?

The first court (In this case, in New Jersey), found that the perfume injury wasn't related to employment and shouldn't fall under workers' compensation. Upon appeal, however, a court said her employer can be held liable since she was exposed to perfume on the job.

Many people have sensitivities to chemicals and scents. This is why a large number of employers have policies where employees can't (or shouldn't) wear heavy colognes or perfumes. Even without these policies, a reaction that happens on the job may be a workers' compensation claim, so it is something to look into with your attorney.

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