There’s a peanut war going on in workplaces everywhere, and it’s pitting allergy sufferers against their employers.
Millions of people are deathly allergic to peanuts. Even a whiff can send them into anaphylactic shock.
These days, kids with peanut allergies are protected at home and in schools, because many classrooms have gone peanut-free over the last decade. But now that those kids are adults and entering the workforce, and they’re finding themselves at risk of allergic reactions, because 3 out of 4 people don’t grow out of the allergy. And there are more allergy sufferers than ever before.
But most companies don’t have an official peanut policy. And a lot of allergy sufferers feel that their boss and co-workers don’t take peanut allergies seriously. In fact, we even read about one woman who’s suing her employer, because co-workers eat peanuts near her, and chase her with them, even though they know she has a life-threatening allergy. In fact, a peanut allergy is classified as a disability by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
And sufferers argue that companies should be nut-free, just like schools and some airlines. There are even more sports stadiums and arenas that have allergy-free seating sections!
But surprisingly, allergists say it’s a bad idea for companies to go peanut-free, because it creates a false sense of security. And companies argue that there are thousands of food allergies, and if they ban peanuts, soon they’ll have to ban other things people are allergic to, from dairy to fish.
So, experts say the best way to protect yourself in the workplace is by writing a letter to your boss explaining that you’re allergic to peanuts, and include a note from your doctor. That way, if you ever find yourself filing a peanut lawsuit against your company, you’ll have proof that you notified your company of your disability.