Remember Alicia Coleman? We discussed her a few months back after she was fired for allegedly leaking period juice all over the office furniture (click HERE if you missed that).
Coleman, who worked in a 911 call center at the Bobby Dodd Institute for years, filed a lawsuit earlier this year after she was terminated for having issues controlling the flow of her period.
Well, her employer has finally agreed to a settlement after the ACLU got involved.
Details below…According to the AJC, the American Civil Liberties Union confirms that Coleman settled with the Bobby Dodd Institute last week after she says they fired her for experiencing heavy periods, a symptom of menopause, the ACLU said.
Coleman worked in a 911 call center at the institute for nearly a decade. Her former employer, which conicidentally works to provide employment to persons with disabilities and disadvantages, allegedly fired her in 2016 after she unexpectedly got her menstrual cycle at work.
The period leaks happened on two occasions several months apart. Coleman shared details of her experience on the ACLU website stating:
Before I was fired, I hadn’t been experiencing regular periods and had started to go through menopause. I had no idea my period was coming on. The first time, it leaked onto a cloth chair, I had told my employers what I was going through, but I was still written up and told I’d be fired if it happened again.
The second time, about a year later, it was just as unexpected, even though I’d tried to take precautions. I felt the leak happen and tried to run to the bathroom, but when I stood up from my desk the blood ran down my leg and onto the carpet. Before I could come back to clean it, someone had already seen the blood on the floor. It was so embarrassing.
Even though I rushed to clean the spot with bleach and disinfectant, I was sent home.
The next time I reported for work, they told me I was fired and asked for my badge. They told me I lacked high standards of cleanliness. I never heard anyone get fired for anything like that before.
When I walked out the door, I felt so numb. I was shocked and ashamed. How could this be happening? I called my daughter right away and she couldn’t believe it. This was my job, my livelihood, my joy. How was I supposed to pay my rent now?
To add injury to insult, it was the last period I ever had.
Coleman initially filed a lawsuit in January, but the Middle District of Georgia dismissed the case, “finding that she had not adequately alleged that what happened to her was a form of sex discrimination.”
The ACLU appealed the case, with Coleman’s attorneys arguing that “permenopause and the associated sudden-onset heavy menstruation should be protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.”
For the record, “Title VII” prohibits workplace discrimination based on sex, including pregnancy, child birth and other medical-related conditions.
After a few months of negotiations, the Bobby Dodd Institute and Coleman came to an agreement and settled the case.
While the details of the settlement are confidential, I’m almost positive that Coleman has secured more than enough resources for a lifetime supply of super maxi-pads if she ever needs them again.
Nevertheless, it’s a victory for woman everywhere because we should never be ‘shamed’ because our bodily functions.
“I worked hard all my life, and I loved my job,” Coleman states in a release.
“I hope my speaking out will encourage other women who believe they have suffered discrimination in any form to come forward.”