Woman says she was fired over her heavy periods

Boxes of tampons are displayed in a pharmacy, Monday, March 7, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(WFLA) – A Georgia woman said she was fired for having two heavy periods on the job.

Alisha Coleman worked at the Bobby Dodd Institute, a job-training agency for people with disabilities as a 911 call taker for nearly a decade.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, Coleman was fired for “experiencing two incidents of sudden onset, heavy menstrual flow, a symptom of pre-menopause,” in August 2015 and again in April 2016.

They said Coleman accidentally leaked menstrual blood into her office chair and on the carpet. She received a disciplinary write-up the first time it happened and was dismissed after the second incident.

“I loved my job at the 911 call center because I got to help people,” Coleman said in a statement shared 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.”

Coleman’s first case was thrown out by a district court in February. The court said pre-menopause symptoms are not protected. The ACLU disagreed and this week, they took the case to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Federal law is supposed to protect women from being punished, harassed or fired because of their sex, and being fired for unexpectedly getting your period at work is the very essence of sex discrimination,” Galen Sherwin, a senior staff attorney at the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU said.