Workplace Harassment?

Posted on: Sun, 04/26/2015 - 5:15am
Momof3PT's picture
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Joined: 02/22/2014 - 20:50

I changed jobs due to an incident that occurred at work related to my severe food allergies, including peanuts and tree nuts. I am in my 50's , a professional and reasonably well know in my profession. I had worked with the same group of professionals for several years, all well educated, most with PhD's. All of them have witnessed a least one of my severe reactions, full blown anaphylaxis, epi-pens, 911, etc. I trusted them to help me during these reactions, and help me to avoid reactions.
Last year, I was in my office when I began wheezing, not feeling well and coughing my high pitched "allergy cough". Now I am VERY careful about having any food in my office, etc. After 15 minutes of searching while coughing and wheezing I found an empty candy bar wrapper that had contained peanuts under a cabinet next to my desk. Fortunately I did not have a full blown reaction, but I had to take allergy meds and use my inhaler and ended up going home early due to not feeling well. I was puzzled about how that wrapper could have been left there? I later found out (from a co-worker) it was planted by 2 of my co-worker as a "test" to see how allergic I really was. I was devastated! I trusted these people, I counted on them, I considered them close friends. I debated several weeks about what to do. I hesitated to go to HR as I didn't want to get them fired, Finally I called the HR office at our "sister-facility" in another city and explained the situation without giving my name. They asked me if I had Proof of my allergy, and if I could prove who left the wrapper and Proof that is was intentional. How would I have proof? I decided that day to seek other employment that would place me in a situation where I really didn't need to interact with other people. I still miss my old job, I still feel sad and hurt that someone did this. I believe I am depressed, as I have trouble sleeping and focusing on my job and I actually fear leaving my house every morning. Today is the one year anniversary of that incident and I have been feeling sad and upset all day.
I don't feel I handled the situation correctly at the time. What should I have done?

Posted on: Tue, 05/05/2015 - 9:24am
PeanutAllergy.com's picture
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Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

Thank you for reaching out in our community boards. We're very sorry this happened to you.
We asked our Facebook community to share their thoughts on your situation, and here’s what they had to say.

Posted on: Tue, 05/05/2015 - 11:12am
Momof3PT's picture
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Joined: 02/22/2014 - 20:50

Thank you all for your support and kind words, they really did help me so much. It is just so difficult for me to understand how such highly educated adults could behave so terribly! I guess I will never understand why, so I just need to move forward.

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