Yes! Apparently President Barack Obama has extended the Americans With Disabilities Act to cover people who suffer with a severe food allergy!
In plain English, this means several amazing things:
1. All schools, restaurants, hotels and cafeterias in the United States are required by law to provide alternate food choices for people with a severe food allergy.
Positive side: The Americans With Disabilities Act requires that there is food available for people with severe food allergies. It also holds more weight and credibility in the eyes of people who do not take food allergies seriously.
Negative side: People usually don't know about food derivatives. Most people don't know that 'natural flavors' and 'vegetable protein' is concentrated soy, or that peanut is a legume. Also, the dangers of cross-contamination with allergen-free foods and safe choices will likely be high, unless wrapped peanut-free soy-free snacks (Hint hint, 'ENJOY LIFE' CEOs!!!) are sent straight to businesses.
There is currently no mandatory food allergy educational program implemented in schools (which I think is the key to real change in the food industry and allergy community).
2. Lawsuits like this one will likely get media attention; because of possible bankruptcy, more businesses will take this act seriously and educate themselves about disabilities, including food allergies.
Positive side: You are protecting your rights or those of your child.
Positive side: You can be honest about your food allergy. You are now covered in case you have a legitimate reason to believe you were not hired because of your disability.
Negative side: Here, once again the negatives are in the eye of the beholder.
Positive side: You keep your job. People are less likely to be angry or upset at you for calling out sick due to a food allergy reaction if they are aware of this law that is NOW in place!