ROWLETT — Allergies can be really annoying. They can ruin a beautiful spring day, and keep you from eating your favorite foods.
Well, what if it your allergies cost you your job? Angela Figura said she was fired by the Rowlett Police Department because of an allergy to cayenne pepper. She said that allergy kept her from being sprayed with mace, during training.
We asked a doctor who specializes in allergies, if Figura’s claim passes the sneeze test.
“This would be a new experience for me, something like this,” Dallas Allergy Immunology physician Stacy Silvers said.
“It`s definitely not a common food allergy, but plausible definitely. There are case reports of people being allergic to chili peppers, cayenne peppers, but for the most part, my patients with food allergies aren`t necessarily limited in their career choices,” Silvers explained.
Figura said her career as a cop is over; so she’s suing the city, citing the Americans with Disabilities Act. Her attorney said disqualifying a person from the job, because of a remote possibility they may face their kryptonite, in the form of a pursuit on foot, bee sting, or mace would disqualify many able bodied officers from their jobs.
This spicy case also accuses the city of gender discrimination. The lawsuit claims a male cop in the Rowlett Police Department is also intolerant to pepper spray, due to LASIK surgery. Yet, he apparently was able to keep his position on the force.
The Rowlett city attorney said they stand behind the department`s decision to let Figura go. Looks like this case is just heating up.