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Danielle Duperreault, Saskatoon Woman, Says She Was Fired For Allergic Reaction

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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.

anaphylaxisDanielle Duperreault says she usually carries an EpiPen, but didn't have one when she went into anaphylactic shock at work. (Photo: Intropin/Flickr)

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.

She said she has made a report to Urban Planet's human resources department and is "getting everything sorted out.''

Manager didn't call an ambulance

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.

"If you wait too long, that person could die."

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."

(CTV Saskatoon)

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