What would be my next step regarding former co-workers deliberately trying to set off my peanut allergy?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What would be my next step regarding former co-workers deliberately trying to set off my peanut allergy?

I have had severe allergic reactions at work. Necessary precautions have been taken. Currently I have my own office and it has been said that anything with nuts are not allowed. I do understand that people’s eating habits cannot be controlled. I went to work last month and had a severe reaction. I was advised not to go into work for 2 days. I then went back in and again, I had another reaction. That afternoon I went back to my office to get an item, I took necessary precautions that my job ordered me to take. I spotted a peanut next to my desk and I then looked under my desk and there were a bunch of peanuts under the desk. Unfortunately, my workplace does not have cameras to see who placed those nuts there. I have been paranoid, stressed and now fearful for my life. I must also note that co-workers have overheard other employees speaking about bringing nuts in the building to see me have a reaction. I did send an email to HR previous to this incident regarding what was heard. I never received a response back and now it has become a serious issue because someone went into my office and placed nuts under my desk knowing I am severely allergic. I voluntarily left the job because I have been afraid to even go back into the building considering someone put nuts under my desk and nothing was done except removal of them. Can legal action be taken against the company?

Asked on November 13, 2016 under Personal Injury, Connecticut


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, the employer is not liable for the deliberate wrongful, arguably criminal, action of an employee (if it was an employee; it could have been a vendor, visitor, someone delivering lunch, cleaning person, etc.--you don't know who did it and can't even, based on what you write *prove* it was an employee), since doing this is NOT part of their job or why they are hired. If you determine the perpetrator, you may be able to hold him/her/them liable, but the employer would not be, especially since it took reasonable steps (e.g. your own office and fan) to accommodate your allergy.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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