Boss Dragged for Accusing Woman of Poisoning Lunch His Daughter 'Borrowed'

The internet is calling out a boss who accused one of his employees of poisoning her lunch after his daughter "borrowed" it, despite being allergic to being one of the dish's primary ingredients.

Posting to the Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole, u/Peanut_Sauce_Fiasco has earned over 10,000 upvotes and nearly 2,000 comments in three hours for her post, "[Am I the A**hole] for sending my coworker into anaphylactic shock?"

Though she says she knows that she's legally not at fault, since her coworkers are treating her so poorly after the event, she wonders if she's in the wrong. She says that after work, she's been helping her friend who has a Thai restaurant. Though she describes herself as a picky eater, she says she loves the peanut sauce at the restaurant, and the chef showed her how to make it.

"About once a week I take it on either noodles or stir fry to my day job for lunch. People know this and a handful have tried it. It smells nutty, it tastes nutty. It's white girl pad Thai, basically," u/Peanut_Sauce_Fiasco wrote.

She says, however, that lately her lunch has started to go missing—or, at best, she'll find half of it gone form her lunchbox. Though she's tried getting the thefts to stop, nothing has changed. She had a suspicion it was a new hire doing it, but she didn't have any proof—until Monday.

Thursday was a "white girl pad Thai" day, but when lunchtime rolled around—not just was her lunch missing, but the entire container was as well. Luckily, u/Peanut_Sauce_Fiasco didn't go hungry, as she said a coworker shared her lunch.

Monday, her boss accused u/Peanut_Sauce_Fiasco of poisoning her lunch, because his daughter—one of the new hires—"borrowed" her lunch and had to be hospitalized with anaphylactic shock. The boss' daughter was deathly allergic to nuts and now the boss is demanding u/Peanut_Sauce_Fiasco pay her hospital bills.

"Why should I pay? I don't mark my food as an allergen because I'm not allergic to it, she was just dumb enough to steal from me and eat something she can't have," she wrote.

The issue is that her boss is still being "hateful" to her, and some of her other coworkers are too.

"My friend is aware and offered me a full time job, but I just can't help but feel it's unfair. At the same time, I could have killed his daughter," she wrote.

lunch theft pad thai peanut allergy aita
A woman's boss is blaming her for his daughter's hospital stay after she stole her peanut-filled lunch. iStock/Getty

Lunch theft at the office is a surprisingly widespread problem. A June 2016 study by Peapod said that 71 percent of office workers have been the victim of lunch theft, and 40 percent admitted that they had stolen food. But if a lunch thief is caught, it can often lead to repercussions—even aside from the potential to be fired.

"It becomes a trust issue," workplace expert Dan Schawbel told CNBC. "This person might not ever be promoted, or when it's bonus time, they might not get a bonus."

But if a workplace won't handle lunch theft, CNBC says some of the ways a worker can fight back is to make sure to clearly label the food, or use a special, personal travel bag. A worst-case scenario may lead to someone having to buy a thermal lunchbox that keeps food cold, and just store the lunch in a desk drawer.

Reddit was nearly entirely on u/Peanut_Sauce_Fiasco's side.

"After contacting HR and putting down a record of the way she is treated, OP should contact an employment attorney," u/TogarSucks wrote. "Honestly, with her boss and multiple established co-workers treating her poorly, there isn't much they can do to 'correct' a hostile work environment. But giving OP a severance package and sending her on her way could be the best option they see for protecting the company. Especially if they can jump right into their friend's job."

"Borrowed??? And how exactly is she going to return this food that she borrowed after ingesting it? It's not borrowing when she was never planning on returning it or compensating you. I'm so sorry that your boss is terrible," u/Madison_M_M wrote.

"Go to HR ASAP. In HR terms what happened is someone stole your lunch and the container it was in. The person who did this is another employee's close relation, and because that employee is your manager you are facing bullying and reprisal from your manager, and further bullying and hostile work environment from coworkers," u/Similar-Koala-5361 wrote.

Newsweek reached out to u/Peanut_Sauce_Fiasco for comment.