In 2016, Alisha Coleman was fired from her job as a 911 call taker after working at the center for nearly a decade. Now, with the help of the ACLU, Coleman is suing her former employer for unlawful workplace discrimination, claiming she was fired for having two heavy period leaks while she was at work.
“I loved my job at the 911 call center because I got to help people,” Coleman said in a statement released 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.”
According to the ACLU, Coleman worked in the call center at the Bobby Dodd Institute in Fort Benning, Georgia but was fired in 2016 for “experiencing two incidents of sudden onset, heavy menstrual flow.” Coleman said her heavy periods are a symptom of pre-menopause.
One incident of Coleman’s heavy periods happened in Aug. 2015, according to the ACLU. Coleman accidentally leaked menstrual blood onto her office chair and was told by her manager to leave work and change clothes. A few days later, Coleman’s site manager and the Bobby Dodd Institute’s HR director allegedly gave her a disciplinary write up, warning her “that she would be fired if she ever soiled another chair from sudden onset menstrual flow,” the ACLU brief reads.
The second incident of heavy period flow reportedly happened on April 22, 2016 when Coleman got up from her desk to go to the bathroom and some menstrual blood leaked on the carpet. According to the ACLU, Coleman was relieved from working that day by her Site Manager and Site Supervisor. When she came back into work on April 26, she was fired.
“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,’” the ACLU brief reads.
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Here is your Friday story, Unleash The Superhero In You courtesy of Bob Proctor
Within every human being, exists an infinite supply of creativity, strength and wonder.
You are capable of more than you know.
Let me tell you about a real life Superhero I know. His name is Mike Berkson.
Mike Berkson was born a few minutes after his twin brother David, on February 4th, 1989. Shortly after birth, Mike was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Doctors told his parents that he would not be able to talk and he would never be a student in a regular classroom. By the time Mike was 3, he was not only talking up a storm but had a thirst for vocabulary. Mike sets BIG goals. Mike excels in English and History, is creative in writing short stories and has ambitions in film making.
Mike lives in a Chicago suburb and now attends high school. He loves rap music, Seinfeld reruns, movies, girls, and many other things most teenagers are interested in. Mike is unique in that he has to work around some obstacles in his day to day life that you and I will never be faced with.
Because he is confined to a wheelchair, and has limited use of his arms and legs, he is paired with someone to help him through the day so he can attend school and get the quality of education he deserves. For a few years, my friend Tim was fortunate enough to be paired with Mike and serve as Mike’s aid and helper.
Ponder the things you do every day and imagine being physically unable to do them. Tim was responsible for taking notes for Mike, assisting him with eating, the bathroom, transportation and all the things that we do without thinking about.
As Tim and Mike grew closer and Tim became a member of Mike’s family, Tim felt a yearning to share with the world Mike’s awesome attitude, and how Mike deals with prejudices, ignorance and inconveniences despite his circumstances.
Tim was so inspired by the Superhero within Mike, that last year he set a goal to write a book about Mike and run 1,200 miles from Florida to Chicago to promote it.
Just one tiny problem…at the time, Tim could hardly run 30 minutes and in order to achieve his goals within 4 months, he would have to write the book at blazing speed AND get into the kind of physical condition to maintain a pace of running 40 miles per day for 31 straight days.
Impossible you might think? No. Remember I told you that you are more powerful than you think you are.
You see Tim had a unique source of motivation to fuel his goals. He had Mike. He had the examples from years of watching Mike display the traits of a real life Superhero. Tim had the inspiration of making a promise to an exceptional young man. Tim had the motivation of a purpose greater than himself.
Tim had the yearning to pursue a series of goals so much bigger than anything he had ever done before, that he just had to try. As a tribute to Mike, Tim had to push himself beyond anything he ever previously did, as Mike does every single day.
Some people in life believe you should only pursue goals you know you can achieve. Others believe the success lies in the growth that occurs from stretching beyond your previous wins, and that all growth is success.
How do you define success?
I interviewed Tim recently on my radio show. Tim explained how he found an endurance coach and transformed himself from a couch potato into an ultra endurance champion. Tim did not reach his goal of running 40 miles a day. You see, his plan was flawed. He made a lot of mistakes. His schedule for the run was so tight, that he did not allow himself any room for error, like weather, funding, or the hazards of running alongside traffic. His approach for raising money was limited. He had a skeleton crew of one to accompany him on the run.
He had to return home by a certain date, regardless of how far behind he was, so he had to drive the distances to catch up when he fell behind. Shortly after he started his journey, he realized he would not be able to achieve the 1,200 miles and still make it home on time. But he kept running anyways, he wanted to Keep On Keeping On. He would rather continue stretching himself than consider quitting.
Why is Tim’s journey considered a success by many? Because he dared to pursue it in the first place. Because he did finish his book about Mike in record time. Because he succeeded in transforming his body into an Ultra Endurance Machine for that time. Because he DID succeed in running an average of 24 miles per day for a total of 700 miles. Because he didn’t quit, even when he realized he could not reach every goal he set for himself. Because he touched the heart of a young man who looked up to him. Because he inspired a lot of people to go beyond what they previously thought they could do.
Because for a moment in time, he taped into the Superhero inside himself and unleashed more of his own potential.
Rising above circumstances like a champion inspires other people.
We must re-evaluate our perspective on what success really is.
Are you a success if you play it safe your whole life and never dare anything unless you are guaranteed victory?
When you set BIG Goals, it is important to set many smaller goals that coincide with it. Even if you fail to reach your deadline for one Goal, you will still succeed at many, and you will build your confidence to a much higher level. Give yourself empowering reasons for getting up when you feel down.
There is a Superhero inside YOU.
What Goals can you set that will inspire you to unleash it?
Keep On Keeping On.
Live Your Dreams.
Jill Koenig, the “Goal Guru” is a best selling author, coach and motivational speaker. She is an expert on the subjects of Goal Setting, Time Management and Business Success. Visit her website at: www.GoalGuru.com
My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister’s bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package.
“This,” he said, “is not a slip. This is lingerie.”
He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It was exquisite: silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached.
“Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least eight or nine years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion.”
He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment. Then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to me.
“Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you’re alive is a special occasion.”
I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane returning to California from the Midwestern town where my sister’s family lives. I thought about all the things that she hadn’t seen or heard or done. I thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they were special.
I’m still thinking about his words, and they’ve changed my life. I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting on the deck and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings.
Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.
I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event–such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom.
I wear my good blazer to the market if I feel like it. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for a small bag of groceries without wincing.
I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties; clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my party-going friends.
“Someday” and “one of these days” are fighting a losing battle to stay in my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.
I’m not sure what my sister would have done had she known that she wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted. I think she would have called family members and a few close friends. She might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think she would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, her favorite food. I’m guessing–I’ll never know.
It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry because I put off seeing good friends whom I was going to get in touch with–someday. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write–one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and daughter often enough how much I truly love them.
I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.
And every morning when I open my eyes I tell myself that this is a special occasion.
Ann Wells penned the column a couple of years after her sister unexpectedly died, and several years before she would lose her husband. Her work somehow made its way to the Internet, where it moves by email and chain letters, compliments of the forward button, and has been renamed “A Story to Live By.” Wells, a retired secretary and occasional freelancer, was stunned that the essay, first published in The Los Angeles Times in April 1985, has been zipping through cyberspace. She doesn’t even have email. “I’m as surprised as anyone,” Wells said.