Alisha Coleman worked for a 911 call center, the Bobby Dodd Institute in Fort Benning, Georgia, for 10 years before she was fired for having two period accidents while at work she claims in a lawsuit, the Huffington Post reports.
The district court rejected her argument in February, but the ACLU recently announced that it would retry Coleman’s case, acknowledging that the lower court failed to acknowledge Coleman was protected under Title XII of the Civil Rights Act, which protects people from workplace discrimination based on gender.
In a recent brief, the ACLU claims that the first incident happened in August 2015. Coleman’s periods had become heavier as she entered pre-menopause, and she accidentally leaked blood onto an office chair. She was told to leave and change, but a few days later, the human resources director allegedly gave her a write-up warning, “that she would be fired if she ever soiled another chair from sudden onset menstrual flow.”
The human resource director allegedly made good on the promise the following April when Coleman had another accident that stained the carpet. According to appeals court documents, Coleman was asked to leave for the day. When she came back to work, she was fired. According to the brief, “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.”
In a statement released by the ACLU, Coleman said that she loved helping people at her job. This altruism pushes her to fight for other women who may face such discrimination. “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.”
SOURCE: The Huffington Post