“I loved my job at the 911 call center because I got to help people,” Coleman said in a statement released by the ACLU. “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.”
–Alicia Coleman, Georgia
As women, we get our periods once a month and bleed. Some cycles may be heavier than others for a variety of reasons, but most of us have experienced that one gush that escapes and leaves us with an embarrassing blood leak. This usually occurs while wearing white pants or shorts, but if you’re wearing a dress or skirt and can’t get to the bathroom in time? Well, like Alicia, some blood may just drip on the rug. I hope YOUR employer doesn’t fire you for an unwanted period accident.
Alicia experienced her first incident at the 911 call center where she had been working for almost 10 years and received a disciplinary note in her file for getting blood on a chair. When the leak occurred, she was told to leave work and change clothes. A few days later the disciplinary note she received cited that “she would be fired if she ever soiled another chair from sudden onset menstrual flow.” Fast forward to almost a year later when she got up to go to the bathroom and leaked menstrual blood on the carpet. 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 ACLU proceeds by stating: “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.”
Organyc stands behind Alicia Coleman because as women #WeBleed.