PA Adults-Work Accommodations


Have any of you asked for accommodations at work?

I started a new job this week. I was supposed to go out to lunch with my manager but declined due to my food allergies.

I also walked into the lunch room and there was someone with an open jar of peanut butter making a sandwich.

There also was an orientation lunch and I brought in food I had already brought.

I am only 8 blocks from the nearest hospital which is a blessing.

On May 11, 2003

Hi Cathlina,

I have not made any accomodations at work. People are aware of my allergy but I have not requested that people refrain from eating peanut products in the office. So someone down the hall may be munching on an Oh Henry bar.

The reason is that everywhere I go (shopping malls, elevators, etc) there may have been, or are, people eating peanut products. I do not feel that I should ask all my co-workers to never eat peanut products in the office, as how could I justify going over to the shopping centre at lunch time and eating lunch in the food court (when others in the food court are eating peanut products).

As well, I do not consider myself at risk if someone else in the office eats an Oh Henry... I always wash my hands prior to eating in the remote chance that there could be residue somewhere.

Anyway, in your situation maybe you would want to ask for certain accomodations.

Well, I guess the only accomodation I have asked for is if we go out for lunch with my co-workers it must be a peanut-safe restaurant. If anyone plans to go for Thai food, I decline the offer. And when we have a department pot-luck lunch at Xmas time, I email my co-workers in my department to remind them that I can not eat peanut products due to my allergy so please advise me if they will be making anything that may come in contact with peanuts. No one ever does make any peanut dishes, although often they tell me to avoid their baked desserts as they are not sure.

Best wishes for the situation in your workplace. Sorry I don't really have much good advice, so hopefully some others will post too. [img][/img]

(note- if we did have a lunchroom and my co-workers routinely made pb sandwiches in it, I would probably avoid the lunch room as the strong smell of pb would cause airborne reactions to me over time)

On May 15, 2003


Yes...there are peanuts and peanut residue everywhere.

I wash my hands a lot....I am peeking in the lunchroom before I go in there.

Most people take their lunch at I am taking mine at 11:30, use the microwave and then eat at my desk.

On May 16, 2003

Hi Cathlina,

It's too bad that there are peanuts everywhere.. it must not be easy for you.

We don't have a lunch room per se... there is a company cafeteria but fortunately they don't serve many peanut products there. Occasionally thet have a Thai special, but large signs are posted warning of the peanut sauce.

I hope that you will be able to successfully avoid the peanut residue. Maybe if you mention to your co-workers about the severity of the allergy, they can be more careful and maybe make the pb sandwich at home or at their desks.

I wish you all the best [img][/img]

On May 16, 2003

Today, the trainer came back from lunch to work with me...sitting right next to me...and she had a cookie...yep, a peanut butter cookie. I asked her if she would mind not eating it right next to two feet away and she was surprised that someone could have a reaction from that but she was helpful and didn't eat it next to me.

I wonder if there is any peanut butter in heaven or maybe, we should colonize another planet and not allow peanuts anywhere...

On May 16, 2003

Thank you al for bringing up these questions.

I've often wondered how it will be in the work place when my son grows up. He is almost 13. My work site would be a challenge for him, re peanuts, nuts, egg, shellfish and sesame seeds the first four of which he may react to contact or smell. It seems like my office is always eating something and having work social dinners etc.

He commented last night of how crabs and shellfish are so advertised in our state (MD) that he can't even go into Seafood Restraunt where live shellfish are being cooked.

It is difficult at home sometimes though we have our safety routines down pat.


On May 17, 2003

My friend who is allergic to peanuts and fish and other allergens, just had a reaction at the school where she teaches. The custodian thinks the cause was cleaning the fish tank in a sink next to the staff room. The smell must have lingered into the staff room.

I'll have to search for some "fish allergy" signs for her. I am going to print off some of the "peanut allergy" signs for her to post outside her classroom next school year.

On May 17, 2003

Hi, I work in a different office every day and I always go to whom is ever in charge at the office that day and let them know about my allergy. I also let them know that I do carry epi pins in my purse. I never ask that some one not eat peanut products unles I can smell or touch it for some reason. I work with the public and can not control what the public brings into the branch so I guess that it is just going to have to stay that way and i always hope for the best.

On May 17, 2003

Codyman, I made a "fish allergy" sign for your friend. If this is too "childesh" just let me know what you are looking for (wanting it to say, graphics etc...) and I'll try again.

Hope This Helps, Valerie


On May 19, 2003

Hi There,

I am severely allergic to tree nuts/sesame seeds as well as smell sensitive, so I have requested from my nearby "Desk Mates" that nobody eat nuts at their desk. They are very understanding. Also we use to have hazelnut coffee and sesame bagels at my office, but I was getting sick from the scent so they removed it. They have 10 other coffee flavors to choose from and 7 other bagel varieties, which should keep them happy(lol). Don't be afraid to ask for small requests to make your health better and make you safer.

On May 19, 2003


I have internet friends whom I have never met. We belong to a totally different group than Some of these friends have stopped eating peanut products outside of their home out of allegiance to me and my son.

I think if you had some sort of meeting at your job and if you presented your case, you might get some cooperation, you might be surprised.

Don't be afraid to use scary words. That seems to get their attention and when they get to know you better they might even cooperate more.

Maybe I am living in a fantasy world but I really think it is worth a try. I like to think the best about people until I see otherwise.

And if they REFUSE to cooperate even a teeny bit you can quote the ADA guidelines to them.

Good luck Peggy

On May 21, 2003

re-raising for Shelleo, she is having a stressful day!!

On Jun 2, 2003

Message edited

[This message has been edited by cathlina (edited June 24, 2003).]

On Jun 2, 2003


Originally posted by cathlina: [b]I guess I am going to human resources to get a written accommodation. [/b]

Hi Cathlina,

That is terrible!!! What type of morins do you work with? hmm. maybe I should have written that in the rudeness thread...

But your co-workers sound a few cards short of a full deck.. bdst wishes with HR.. hope you can get your co-workers to get it....

How frustrating that they won't take it seriously... [img][/img]

On Jun 8, 2003

I ask for accomodations on a few things. I always go to the safety person and inform them of my allergies, as well as the principal and the teacher I work with. I make SURE they know what to do.

I make sure my picture and information is posted on the medic alert board, and put a sign on my box saying "Karen's epi-pen is HERE".

If there are luncheons or food ordered in, I've asked that people bring things that do not contain nuts (I'm not as sensitive as some people, I do eat may contains), or I ask to read the labels. If it's from a restaurant, I will phone on my own to find out, or as a last resort, bring my own food. When in doubt, I don't eat it and I have my own stash of safe goodies anyway.

I've had teachers use nuts as counters/something to play with, and I asked that they be removed. I've refused to do cooking programs with things I'm allergic to (like peel apples for applesauce, I'm allergic to them too). Most of the time people are very accomodating. I'm very fortunate that I'm not smell/touch sensitive, as in an elementary school 1/2 of my class ate pb every day.

The only comment I found annoying was when someone brought in a delicious hedgehog truffle cake (they were my favorite, pre-nut allergy). As a co-worker is stuffing her second piece of cake in her mouth, she is commenting that she wished she had my allergy, because it must keep me thin. (I was eating a banana). I was thin LONG before the allergy, and all I really wanted at that moment was a piece of that cake!