Menstruation is natural body function that women all over the world face on a monthly basis after they hit puberty.
While many women experience painless periods with light bleeding, there are those who suffer from extremely painful cramps followed by a heavy flow.
Hormonal changes are common during this time, especially in the case of middle-aged women who are nearing menopause.
Menopausal women go through a lot during the phase, since the hormones are on overdrive and can trigger unexpected periods with a heavy flow, which can further cause accidental leaks.
But is an accidental period leak a valid reason for a reputed organisation to sack their female employees? Alisha Coleman, a US resident, is suing the company she worked in after her employers sacked her because her 'period leaked on her chair'.
The Bobby Dodd Institute in Georgia is being sued for workplace discrimination after Coleman claimed that she was dismissed over a period leak on two occassions.
As per a report in the Independent UK, the first incident took place in 2015 and she received a disciplinary write-up. Her supervisor told her, "she would be fired if she ever soiled another chair from sudden onset menstrual flow," according to the lawsuit.
In 2016, the mother-of-two leaked on the carpet while she was on her way to the restroom and a few days later, she was sacked for failing to "practise high standards of personal hygiene and maintain a clean, neat appearance while on duty," the lawsuit states.
"I loved my job at the 911 call centre because I got to help people," Coleman said in a statement."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," the Independent reported.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Alisha Coleman, said she had been discriminated against on the grounds of sex including “pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions" and that her dismissal was a violation of the Civil Rights Act.
The Independent quoted Andrea Young, executive director of ACLU, who said that, "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."