The ACLU filed a legal brief on behalf of Alisha Coleman, who worked at the Bobby Dodd Institute, a job training and employment agency. Coleman, a 911 dispatcher for the institute, was fired after she accidentally discharged menstrual fluid onto a carpet and office chair, the ACLU notes.
“Employers have no business policing women’s bodies or their menstrual cycles,” sais Andrea Young, an executive director for ACLU of Georgia. “Firing a woman for getting her period at work is offensive and an insult to every woman in the workplace.”
The first incident happened August 2015. Coleman’s site manager and the human resources director slapped her with a disciplinary note two days after the accident and warned her that “she would be fired if she ever soiled another chair from sudden onset menstrual flow,” the ACLU notes.
Despite taking measures to make sure it did not happen again, Coleman had another accident on the carpet as she walked to the bathroom April 22, 2016. Coleman said she tried to clean the stain, but that the site manager told the site supervisor to excuse her from work.
On April 25 last year she was told to come to work the next day and was then told that she was being fired for her “failure to practice high standards of personal hygiene and maintain a clean, neat appearance while on duty,” the ACLU alleges.
“Getting fired for an accidental period leak was humiliating,” Coleman said. “I don’t want any woman to have to go through what I did, so I’m fighting back.” The chief advancement officer for the Bobby Dodd Institute in Atlanta, Lisa Kennedy, declined to comment.