On June 21st, Danielle Duperreault got fired from her job via text message.
In her Facebook post she points out that — contrary to what one might assume — she did not get fired as result of tardiness or poor performance.
Rather, she believes she got fired because she had an allergic reaction while on the clock.
Duperreault is severely allergic to peppers and mangos.
“If someone is cooking pepper, my throat will close and if I touch a mango my hand will blister,” she tells CBC News.
During her shift break at Urban Planet, a clothing store, she accidentally consumed something that contained bell peppers. Immediately, her neck started breaking out and her tongue started swelling.
“I called a manager upstairs and one came up asking me what was wrong, at that point my airway was already closing,” Duperreaul writes. “She proceeded to show a tremendous amount of attitude.”
The manager’s response was nothing more than to tell Duperreault to go look for her EpiPen in her car. After Duperreault searched for the medication to no avail, she returned to the store.
— 680 NEWS Toronto (@680NEWS) June 24, 2016
At this point, her throat has begun to close up and Duperreault started to feel faint. Coworkers and customers began “freaking out” at the sight of her, but Duperreault says that the manager continued to stand “calmly at the computer typing away.”
The manager ignored a colleague’s suggestion to call an ambulance and only made one comment to Duperreault: “Text me when you get to the hospital.”
Thankfully, one of Duperreault’s coworkers was pulling into the parking lot at the exact moment she walked out of the store and was able to rush her to a nearby clinic, where she received an epinephrine shot. She was then transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital.
It was a close call — doctors told her if she had waited another ten minutes she wouldn’t have made it — but Duperreault survived.
And just when she thought her nightmare was over, she received a text message from her manager while still in the ambulance.
The manager was terminating her and the coworker who had assisted her, effective immediately.
Since posting about the unfortunate incident on Facebook, Duperreault has received an outpouring of support. Even more, the parent company of Urban Planet, Y.M. Inc., publicly apologized and has offered to continue paying her until she’s able to find a new job.
Duperreault adds that there is one person who has not yet apologized: her former manager.
While Duperreault is grateful for their generosity, she notes that the only reason she wrote the post was to raise awareness about allergies, particularly in the workplace.
“I firmly believe that there should always be an EpiPen on hand in every store… There should be training on how to administer an EpiPen, how to handle a situation like that, and how to deal with the aftermath.”