Address the problem in a timely fashion. Otherwise, the employee's co-workers might take it upon themselves to do so in an unkind manner — and if they tie the hygiene problem to a protected characteristic like race, religion, or national origin, this could spark a hostile environment claim. Employees should already be on notice that they are expected to treat co-workers with respect, no matter what.
However, timely doesn't always mean meeting with the employee immediately. Sometimes, waiting until the end of the workday or shift should be considered. For example, if it is not possible for the employee to go home and shower or otherwise remedy the problem, the employee may become terribly self-conscious, which could affect productivity.
Deal with the issue privately. Managers who want to avoid a one-on-one confrontation may, instead, call a department meeting to issue a hygiene directive to the whole group. Ho...(register to read more)