A person can lose a job for a lot of reasons. Poor performance would be a logical reason. Creating an unpleasant work environment for one’s coworkers could be another. But a woman was actually fired from her job as a 911 dispatcher because she accidentally got menstrual blood on a chair. Now she’s suing her former employers with the help of the ACLU.
According to the lawsuit, Alisha Coleman was working as a 911 call taker at a job training and employment center for people with disabilities. She worked there without incident for decade. But then, in 2016, she started going through pre-menopause. One symptom of that was sudden onset periods. They were very heavy and came without warning or schedule.
Alisha Coleman had sudden, heavy periods because of pre-menopause
One day that happened, and it got all over a chair. It’s extremely embarrassing when that happens. A lot of us have been there, though. Even if we’re not yet pre-menopause, many of us probably experienced something like that when we first started menstruating. (I thank God every day that I was wearing black pants in speech class that day.)
Coleman says her employers did not respond with sympathy. The first time it happened, she says they told her “she would be fired if she ever soiled another chair from sudden onset menstrual flow.”
During perimenopause, hormone levels fluctuate pretty wildly. A person might not menstruate for months on end, and then a sudden hormone spike means a huge flow comes on all at once.
It did happen again, though, and that time they fired Coleman. They said she was fired for failing to “practice high standards of personal hygiene and maintain a clean, neat appearance while on duty.”
That’s so humiliating. And rage-inducing.
Coleman is suing her former employers
According to Hello Giggles, Coleman tried to sue after that. But the court ruled that pre-menopause was not a condition protected from discrimination. Pregnancy, childbirth, and “related medical conditions” are protected from discrimination under the Civil Rights Act. But the court said pre-menopause did not count.
Now the ACLU of Georgia has allied with Coleman for her appeal.
Do you think her firing was fair? Let us know in the comments.
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(Image: iStockPhoto / KittisakJirasittichai)