Any woman who has their period is fearful of unexpected leaks happening at inopportune times – like at work, for example. Embarrassing as it is, and as much as you want to crawl under your desk and disappear, no one should be afraid of losing their job over a little bit of blood. Because, that’s absurd! But according to US woman, Alisha Coleman, this is exactly what happened to her.
The former 911 dispatcher is suing her employer, the Bobby Dodd Institute, for allegedly firing her because of two heavy period leaks she experienced while working for the company in 2015.
According to the suit, Coleman was going through premenopause at the time which can cause heavy and unpredictable periods. After she experienced her first period leak, Coleman’s site director and human resources director issued a disciplinary notice informing her "she would be fired if she ever soiled another chair from sudden onset menstrual flow," the suit stated.
After a leak unexpectedly happened for a second time, Coleman was fired for failing to "practice high standards of personal hygiene and maintain a clean, neat appearance while on duty."
Coleman, who had worked for the company for a decade before being fired said in a press statement: "Every woman dreads getting period symptoms when they’re not expecting them, but I never thought I could be fired for it."
And neither did we!
Earlier this year Coleman took her claim to a district court who dismissed the case ruling that premenopause was not a condition protected from discrimination under the law. But now, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Coleman is appealing the case.
"Federal law is supposed to protect women from being punished, harassed, or fired because of their sex," said Galen Sherwin, senior staff attorney at the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU, in a press release.
"And being fired for unexpectedly getting your period at work is the very essence of sex discrimination."
Excuse us while we pick our jaws up off the floor, this one has us shocked.