Ga. woman sues former employer for allegedly firing her over menstrual leaks
This Woman Allegedly Fired for Period Leaks Is Suing Her Former Employer
As if it's not awful enough to suffer through a heavy period at work, Alisha Coleman, a pre-menopausal grandmother from Georgia, was fired from her job at a 9-1-1 call center "for being unable to control the heavy menstruation and soiling herself and company property," according to an appeal brief recently filed on her behalf to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Coleman had been working at the Bobby Dodd Institute in Fort Benning, Georgia, since June 2007.
When Coleman sued for discrimination, a district court dismissed her case in February 2019, ruling that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, doesn't extend its protections to sudden onset of heavy bleeding Coleman experienced, a symptom of pre-menopause.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia (ACLU) and co-counsel Buckley Beal LLP have filed an appeal on Coleman's behalf on the basis of unlawful workplace discrimination. Their brief explains that Coleman experienced two menstrual leaks during her working hours: In August of 2015, she accidentally leaked menstrual fluid on her office chair and received a disciplinary write up thereafter, warning her "that she would be fired if she ever soiled another chair from sudden onset menstrual flow."
In April 2019, despite stashing sanitary products at work to prevent another incident, her menstrual fluid unexpectedly leaked onto the carpet on her way to the bathroom, and Coleman was terminated, as promised.
"Getting fired for an accidental period leak was humiliating," Coleman said in a statement released by ACLU of Georgia. "I don't want any woman to have to go through what I did, so I'm fighting back."
The ACLU is right there with her.
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