NAPLES, Fla.- More than a dozen employees at Bealls Department Store in East Naples say they broke out in a rash while at work.
Now, WINK News is learning the department store has been well aware of the issue for months. The store is taking air samples and also sampling the merchandise to try and figure out what caused the employees to break out in a rash.
Two employees with Bealls came forward, telling WINK News they broke out in a rash while working at Bealls. They say the itching and burning was so bad, they can no longer work there.
Dan Doyle, Chief Human Resources Officer with Bealls says, "It's certainly very frustrating and troubling for us to not be able to determine what it is from our point of view or from a medical point of view."
A former employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, says more should have and could have been done when the first signs of the rash were reported to management.
"I was just appalled that it took this long because it right after Christmas that it started. They should have been doing something three months ago."
As of right now, thirteen employees have come forward with symptoms. Doyle says, "We have an industrial hygienist firm that has taken quite a number of samples of air and merchandise that we are testing to see if there's anything we can zero in on in the store that may be causing this."
At this point, there is still no word on what may have caused the rash and if in fact it came from the store. The Collier County Health Department is investigating and has determined the rash poses no threat to the public.
Shoppers say news of the outbreak leaves them uneasy and frustrated they weren't made aware of the rash before going inside.
Cynthia Hurley says, "I feel we should have been notified even it was a notice on the door. Tell people, we don't know what it is."
Carol Bisson adds, "I'm not happy about it. I think everyone should be informed if there is something going on as far as a rash and people breaking out. I think people should be informed before they go in the store."