Woman Claims She Lost A Hospital Job Over Her Peanut Allergy

A dental clinic at Boston Children's Hospital said it couldn't provide a safe working environment.

A woman who was supposed to start a new job as a dental clinic schedule coordinator at leading Boston hospital for children said that she was told at the last minute the job was no longer hers, according to a report from WCVB-TM. The reason, she said, was her "not severe" peanut allergy.

Kameela Coleman of Dorchester told WCVB that the job offer she had was rescinded when two officers of Boston Children's Hospital told her, "We can't provide a safe working environment." She replied that she wasn't looking for a safe environment, just her job.
Coleman had worked at nearby Beth Israel hospital for 13 years. Although she admitted experiencing some minor allergy incidents, she said they never interfered with her duties or required time off.

Coleman carries an epinephrine auto-injector, a device that can quickly inject epinephrine, a medical term for adrenaline, which is the immediate treatment for dangerous allergic reactions.

According to Coleman, the work she would have done would be similar to what she did at Beth Israel, only with better hours. When she received a written job offer three weeks ago, it was contingent on her filling out a health form.

Because she gave notice at her previous job to take the new one, Coleman, a single mother of an 18-month-old, is now unemployed with no health insurance. According to a statement that WCVB received from Children's Hospital, the provider is "working closely" with Coleman to "come to a mutual understanding around this situation." There is a question whether a peanut allergy might come under the American with Disabilities Act, which protects employees who might face discrimination over medical issues. The hospital denied that it discriminates based on disabilities.

The irony is that any medical facility catering to children should have an environment safe for peanut allergies. According to the Mayo Clinic, peanut allergies are especially common in children and are one of the most frequent causes of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening medical condition in which the airways and throat swell and blood pressure drops. As the Mayo Clinic website explains:

Peanut allergy symptoms can range from a minor irritation to a life-threatening reaction (anaphylaxis). For some people with peanut allergy, even tiny amounts of peanuts can cause a serious reaction.

Schools in the U.S. frequently forbid parents from providing their children with lunches that contain peanuts or peanut butter when one or more students have severe peanut allergies. Milder allergies can become more severe with repeated exposure over time.

According to Food Allergy Research and Education, peanut allergies tripled in children between 1997 and 2008. Although 20 percent of children with peanut allergies eventually outgrow them, the remaining people have lifelong problems. Even touching peanuts or peanut residue can cause a reaction.

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Amiee/Patrick

Funny (and sad). A HOSPITAL of all places couldn't provide a safe work place.

August 14 2014 at 9:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
baldbiker2

"Im not asking them to provide a safe working environment",,,,really sweetie? Baloney, the minute you saw a peanut, you'd be lawyering up and filing at the courthouse. Theres more to this story.

August 13 2014 at 11:01 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
bulletinboardsn

Why did she go to the news station to make a big deal of it and has seen a lawyer already. Good grief she is one of the reasons employers don't want to hire this kind of people esp. someone who is attention needy and sue happy. She's drama and they don't need someone like her. If hired and someone was eating peanuts she could make a big stink in HR that they are threatening her health and sue to change it. She's already suing before she's hired. No, big big trouble to even touch this one, she's a major prob. All employers need to be aware of her. She needs a remote job. BTW I have the same kind of allergic reactions but not a p-nut butter one.

August 13 2014 at 10:00 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bulletinboardsn's comment
jakki051

All she is saying is she wouldn't have resigned her previous job if they hadn't hired her. Now that she has resigned, they want to recind the job! THAT IS THE PROBLEM!

August 13 2014 at 11:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jakki051's comment
Cusic

Yes, BUT, the job was contingent on her health information. That means if thee is something in her health information the employers have concerns about, then the job offer would be rescinded, which is what happened.

August 15 2014 at 7:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
slaveboy

So sign a waver.

August 13 2014 at 9:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to slaveboy's comment
flbob

Or a waiver.

August 13 2014 at 10:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hokanut

Where did this peanut allergy come from? When I was a kid in the 70's 80's not one kid that I knew of had this allergy. I see the hospitals point. Kids come in covered in all kinds of stuff including peanut butter on their hands I'm sure. If you were afraid of heights you would not take a job as a high rise window cleaner. Sounds like she was just looking for a fat check. Beats working if you have no self respect I guess.

August 13 2014 at 9:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to hokanut's comment
sylvin51

You really have nothing to worry about, you are black and Al and Jesse will come to your rescue, or they will throw everbody out and shut that hospital down.

August 13 2014 at 9:01 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to sylvin51's comment
karpmedpeters

Ignorant comments from ignorant people.

Get a life.

August 13 2014 at 10:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jakki051

My my what a dumb racist comment sylvin51

August 13 2014 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ejorillion

too bad, the world is just fair and noone is obligated to accomodate every disablility. the hospital was smart to dump her considering her litigious nature. she didn't want a job she wanted an excuse to file another suit

August 13 2014 at 8:28 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to ejorillion's comment
Hottie

"Coleman had worked at nearby Beth Israel hospital for 13 years. Although she admitted experiencing some minor allergy incidents, she said they never interfered with her duties or required time off."

Reading comprehension FAIL. Apparently you just spew venom for the heck of it. Too bad your ignorance makes you less significant than a flea.

August 13 2014 at 9:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Hottie's comment
jakki051

REALLY? Well offer her the job back and see if she takes it!

August 13 2014 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mrhalcyon

She had a few reaction issues at her previous jog. Hmm. What would happen if at the last minute the new hospital found out that she had a history of lawsuits? Maybe completely unrelated to her allergy, but lawsuits just the same. No one here(including myself) knows what the rest of the story is, and these articles never touch on the other issues, but there's always more. According to the article, she's already looking to sue under the disabilities act. Maybe the hospital was trying to dodge a bullet while they still could.

August 13 2014 at 8:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

People with peanut allergies are usially allergic to the 7 other triggers as well: seafood, shellfish, dairy, wheat, oats/barley, tree nuts, and eggs. Millions of people have food allergies and will never know it.
A reaction can spmetimes take hours after the allergen is consumed.

August 13 2014 at 8:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ddiribbons

"now unemployed with no health insurance." That's funny. I thought people with no jobs could get free Obamacare. Anyhow, she will probably scream racism, and Jesse and Al, the two field Generals, to form up protests against the clinic.

August 13 2014 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ddiribbons's comment
goodmansbooks

Free? And just where di you hear that?

August 13 2014 at 8:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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