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Saskatoon woman says she was fired for having allergic reaction
THE CANADIAN PRESS
First posted: Friday, June 24, 2016 04:37 PM EDT | Updated: Friday, June 24, 2016 04:51 PM EDT
SASKATOON -- A Saskatoon woman says she was fired from her retail job for having an allergic reaction while at work.
Danielle Duperreault says she has several life-threatening allergies, including one to bell peppers.
She was working at an Urban Planet clothing store on Monday when she ate some seasoned nuts, not realizing they contained pepper powder.
Within minutes, her tongue began burning, her skin started itching and she realized she was going into anaphylactic shock.
She says she was at a clinic waiting for an ambulance when she got word from her manager saying she was not getting any more shifts.
A statement from the company's head office says Urban Planet is taking the issue seriously and is looking into the matter.
"They got me into the ambulance and I received a text message from my boss saying, 'I gave away your shifts for the rest of the week and, unfortunately, I won't be scheduling you any longer. I wish you all the best'," Duperrault told CTV Saskatoon. (external - login to view)
She said she has made a report to Urban Planet's human resources department and is "getting everything sorted out."
Duperrault usually carries an EpiPen in case of emergencies, but she said she had switched purses and didn't have one that day.
Her manager looked for an auto-injector in the medical cabinet at the store but didn't find one, she said.
"At that moment, as soon as you find out there's no EpiPen, an ambulance should be called," Duperreault said.
Her manager didn't call an ambulance and went off to do other things, she said. Duperreault's reaction was getting worse and her airways were swelling up.
A fellow employee arriving for a shift noticed the severity of the situation and offered to take Duperreault for help. Duperreault said the manager told her to send a text when she got to a hospital.
Duperreault said employers need to understand that allergies in the workplace are a serious matter. She suggests all employees should be trained on how to handle allergic reactions and how to administer an EpiPen.
"You need to make sure that they know what to do and they know that, if there's no EpiPen, you call paramedics.
"If you wait too long, that person could die."
I got fired today, from Urban Planet. And you all would probably think it would be over tardiness or not doing my job and so on and forth. But today I came into contact with bell peppers, something I am severely allergic to. I called a manager upstairs and one came up asking me what was wrong, at that point my airway was already closing. She proceeded to show a tremendous amount of attitude, I did... not have an epi pen on me at the time because mine was expired and I needed to get a prescription for a new one. So she told me to go look in my car then proceeded to of wander off, Meanwhile I'm getting fainty and I'm vomiting, I went out to my car and searched for one but no luck. So I go back into the store, gurgling and clutching my throat while customers and a few staff around me were freaking out and that same manager stood calmly at the computer typing away. I proceed to the back room where a male staff member basically had to carry me up the stairs and get my stuff for me, because was so lightheaded I could barley stand up, and I couldn't feel my extremities. I go to clock out when I hear a colleague of mine yell "should I call an ambulance" the manager ignores her. I clock out and she calmly says "text me when you get to the hospital." (I'm clearly not able to drive.) Where my friend meets me in the parking lot (another employee on her way into work) I motion her to come over and without hesitation she takes the keys and rushes me to a medical clinic. We didn't even have time to get to the hospital, we had to go to a medical clinic and have epinephrine there where I was then sent by ambulance to RUH. My throat had almost completely closed and I nearly passed out due to lack of oxygen. The manager then fires both of us via text message. I firmly believe that there should always be an epi pen on hand in every store. Who knows if a customer needs one in an emergency, or someone who doesn't know they have allergies and doesn't own an epi pen. And frankly everyone I talked to about this believes that if she seen a customer in peril, she'd jump in to help. The doctors said if I would have waited another ten minutes I would be dead. So please like and share this post to raise awareness about allergies in the workplace. There should be training on how to administer an epi pen, how to handle a situation like that, and how to deal with the after math. The text she sent me is pasted below.


Saskatoon woman says she was fired for having allergic reaction | Canada | News