Woman settles with employer she says fired her for getting period at work

Alisha Coleman reached an undisclosed settlement with her former employer, the Bobby Dodd Institute.

Alisha Coleman reached an undisclosed settlement with her former employer, the Bobby Dodd Institute.

A woman allegedly fired for having unexpected menstrual cycles at work reached a settlement in a discrimination suit against her former employer, the American Civil Liberties Union confirmed.

Alisha Coleman settled with the Bobby Dodd Institute last week after she says they fired her for experiencing heavy periods, a symptom of menopause, the ACLU said. The settlement details are confidential.

Coleman, who worked in a 911 call center for nearly a decade, alleged the institute —which works to provide employment to persons with disabilities and disadvantages —fired her in 2016 after she unexpectedly got her menstrual cycle at work.

“Because she was going through menopause, her period had become irregular and could be very sudden and heavy,” a statement from the ACLU Georgia read. The period leaks happened on two occasions several months apart.

Coleman was hired to work at the institute, which has an emergency 911 call center at Fort Benning, through a job training and employment agency.

She initially filed a lawsuit in January, but the Middle District of Georgia dismissed the case, “finding that she had not adequately alleged that what happened to her was a form of sex discrimination,” the ACLU said.

The case was appealed, with Coleman’s attorneys arguing that “permenopause and the associated sudden-onset heavy menstruation should be protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act,” the ACLU said. Title VII prohibits workplace discrimination based on sex, including pregnancy, child birth and other medical-related conditions.

“I worked hard all my life, and I loved my job,” Coleman said in the release. “I hope my speaking out will encourage other women who believe they have suffered discrimination in any form to come forward.”

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