An Georgia company is facing the wrath of the ACLU after they terminated an employee who was having issues controlling the flow of her period.
The American Civil Liberties Union is arguing gender discrimination is at play after Alisha Coleman, a 10 year employee of the Bobby Dodd Institute in Fort Benning, Georgia, alleged that the company gave her a disciplinary write up after the “sudden onset of her menstrual period” caused her to leak fluid onto her chair in August 2015.
Coleman was subsequently terminated after her uncontrollable menstrual cycles became an issue at work.
Alisha Coleman would reportedly bleed so uncontrollably that she would have to sit on pillow to prevent staining the chairs.
After the August incident, another accident happened the following April, with menstrual fluid spotting the carpet as she made her way to the bathroom.
Coleman says she cleaned the spot with bleach, but was fired four days later for failing to “practice high standards of personal hygiene and maintain a clean, neat appearance while on duty.”
The ACLU calls Coleman’s firing “wrong and illegal under federal law,” citing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bans workplace discrimination based on sex. The crux of the case is that sudden heavy menstrual flow is a symptom of pre-menopause.
Coleman’s case was even discussed on ‘The Doctor’s’ recently and the medical professionals all agreed that it was most likely a medical issue and should not have caused her to lose her job.
“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.”
Galen Sherwin, Senior Staff Attorney at the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU, addresses the issue as well, stating:
Federal law is supposed to protect women from being punished, harassed or fired because of their sex, and being fired for unexpectedly getting your period at work is the very essence of sex discrimination.
This kind of blatant discrimination against women in the workplace is why the ACLU Women’s Rights Project was founded 45 years ago, and why the fight for gender equality must continue.
USA Today reports that The Bobby Dodd Institute issued a statement saying “there is more to this story than is being portrayed by those who are suing us.”