If you have a food allergy, you may not want to attract attention by mentioning it at work. Even though allergy awareness and precautions are pervasive in the school system, you don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb or be seen as “weak” at work and may want to hide your own “personal” concerns. But hiding your food allergies from your coworkers can be very dangerous, even if you feel like your allergies are under control.
People who have no experience with food allergies may think they just cause a sneeze or runny nose. You must tell them, in a non-confrontational way, exactly what your allergy is. Your boss and colleagues need to know about your allergies so they don’t accidentally expose you to the allergen, and if you react and need their help. Even if you have not had serious allergy symptoms in the past, your allergies may always get worse over time. If you’re having trouble breathing or are in anaphylactic shock, which is life-threatening, they should know why this is happening and what your allergies are so they can tell paramedics if needed. If you have an epinephrine auto-injector to combat a severe reaction, at least one person in your office should know where you store it and how to use it.
The ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act) provides employees with disabilities, which include allergies, the right to a safe and healthy work environment, and prohibits employers, employees, and businesses from discriminating against you based on your physical needs. If you are being treated unfairly at work because of your allergies and your employer refuses to make the changes necessary for you to work safely, you can file a complaint with the United States Attorney General or file a private lawsuit in court to ask your employer to make the necessary changes. and pay your legal fees.