A Saskatoon woman who says she was fired from her job after an allergic reaction says the company has apologized, but she's still waiting to hear from the manager who fired her.

Monday started off like any other workday for Danielle Duperreault. The 18-year-old showed up to her job at Urban Planet in Centre Mall on 8th Street East. During her first break, she says she accidentally ate something she shouldn't have.

"I called down to someone and said I need a manager upstairs for an emergency," Duperreault said. "She came up and asked me if I was breaking out and I was — my neck was really itchy, my tongue was on fire."

Duperreault, who was employed at Urban Planet for two months, has an anaphylactic allergy to peppers, including all bell peppers and hot peppers. She's also allergic to the touch and smell of mangos.  

'The person that really needs to apologize is my boss because it was her decision to handle the things the way she did and to terminate me,' - Danielle Duperreault

"If someone is cooking pepper, my throat will close and if I touch a mango my hand will blister," she explained.

Normally, she said she carries an EpiPen in her bag, however when she went to grab it this time, it wasn't there.

So she went back upstairs to gather her belongings and came back downstairs. At this time, she says she realized no one had called 9-1-1 for an ambulance, and her throat was closing tighter, making breathing difficult.

Luckily, she says one of her coworkers was just pulling in, so she asked her for a ride to the hospital and her coworker agreed.


Duperreault said she usually has an EpiPen in her bag, but when she had an allergic reaction at work she couldn't find it. (James Hopkin/CBC)

When she arrived at Lakeside Medical Clinic across the street, they gave her a dose of epinephrine and Benadryl. She then got into an ambulance and she says that's when she received a text from her manager saying she no longer had shifts at the store.

"Once I got into the ambulance I received a text from my boss saying she gave my shifts away for the rest of the week and she wouldn't be scheduling me anymore and best of luck," Duperreault said.

Duperreault said she never thought her allergic reaction would get her fired.

"I feel like I was fired for having another allergic reaction because I had another one before, but it went really well because I had my EpiPen with me. Everything was calm and cool and I went to the hospital," she said.

"This one was handled terribly."

Company issues apology

Duperreault said the parent company for Urban Planet, Y.M. Inc., contacted her on Thursday and she spoke to the CEO who personally apologized for how the situation was handled. She also said Y.M. Inc., has agreed to work something out so she's financially covered until she finds another job. But she says Y.M. Inc. did not say much about how the manager at Urban Planet acted.

"That's more than I could've asked for," she said.

In an email, a spokesperson for Y.M. Inc., responded to the CBC's request for an interview asking for patience as they work through the situation.

"We take very seriously the health and well-being of all our employees.  We have reached out to Ms. Duperreault and we would ask for everyone's patience as we work through this situation," the spokesperson said.

Despite the apology from the company CEO, Duperreault said she's still waiting to hear from someone else.

"The person that really needs to apologize is my boss because it was her decision to handle the things the way she did and to terminate me," she said. "I feel if anyone needs to apologize it needs to be her."

With files from CBC's James Hopkin