Q. I work for a company that made an accommodation for me and my wheelchair, which allows me to work on the first floor of our two-story building. Others in my department work upstairs, but our office building lacks an elevator. I now have a larger problem. Another employee on this floor wears a perfume or cologne that makes it difficult for me to breathe, gives me migraines, causes my heart to beat faster, makes me nauseous, my legs weak and causes them to spasm. It is impossible to focus on my work when that happens.
When I confronted her about it, she laughed at me and said it was “a personal problem.” I brought up the issue with my manager, who had a talk with her, but it didn’t do much good. She wore the scent again the next day, knowing the impact it was having on me. In fact, I think she began wearing an even larger amount of the perfume after that.
This situation makes me nervous — I have heard that Ohio has a “no-fault” employment law that would allow an employee to be dismissed without being given an explanation. If that is true, I am afraid the company might just let me go instead of dealing with the problem I brought to their attention. Do I have any prot