A woman in Georgia says she was fired because of her period. Alisha Coleman was fired from her job as a 911 call taker. Now, with the help of the ACLU, she is suing her former employer for workplace discrimination. She was fired for having two heavy period leaks while on the job.
She said in a statement released by the ACLU:
“I loved my job at the 911 call center because I got to help people. Every woman dreads getting period symptoms when they’re not expecting them, but I never thought I could be fired for it. Getting fired for an accidental period leak was humiliating. I don’t want any woman to have to go through what I did, so I’m fighting back.”
One incident occurred in August 2015 when she accidentally leaked blood onto an office chair. She was told to go home and change clothes. She was, then, given a disciplinary write-up and told she would be fired if she soiled another office chair.
The second incident happened in April of 2016. She accidentally leaked blood onto the carpet when she was walking from her desk to the bathroom. She was relieved from work that day. Then, when she came back a few days later, she was fired.
The ACLU brief reads:
“The stated reason for her termination was her alleged failure to ‘practice high standards of personal hygiene and maintain a clean, neat appearance while on duty.'”
The case was dismissed from a district court in February. In August, the ACLU announced that it would retry the case. The ACLU claims that the lower court failed to realize that period symptoms are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which protects from discrimination based on sex.
Andrea Young, ACLU of Georgia executive director, said:
“Employers have no business policing women’s bodies or their menstrual cycles. Firing a woman for getting her period at work is offensive and an insult to every woman in the workplace. A heavy period is something nearly all women will experience, especially as they approach menopause, and Alisha was shamed, demeaned and fired for it. That’s wrong and illegal under federal law. We’re fighting back.”
Featured image via Twitter.