Woman Faces Verbal Warning for Discussing Menstrual Pain at Work

As companies increasingly implement menstrual leave policies to support female employees dealing with menstrual symptoms, a disconcerting incident has surfaced. A woman received a surprising “verbal warning” at her job simply for discussing her menstrual pain with a coworker, even though she did not initiate the conversation.

After sharing her story on Reddit, it garnered significant attention and sparked discussions on social media. Her post, uploaded just a day prior, received close to 8,000 upvotes, with many individuals sharing their similar experiences.

The Incident: A Verbal Warning

The woman, who holds a supervisory position, expressed her frustration, stating, “I just received a verbal warning for discussing my period at work. Apparently, as a supervisor, different standards apply because I made someone ‘uncomfortable.’ I didn’t even bring it up; one of my supervisees was telling me she was experiencing menstrual cramps, and I told her I was too. That was it.”

Continuing her account, she added, “I received this warning from the same HR lady who lectured on gender inequality in the workplace last year. Her advice? ‘Take less time getting ready in the morning so that men take you seriously.’

Reddit Users React

Following the post, Reddit users quickly flooded the comment section with their opinions and experiences. One user questioned, “How is that inappropriate? I’m a supervisor, and I’ve had employees call out sick because of period cramps. One of them even had to go to the hospital for it. It’s an unavoidable topic concerning employee well-being, and coworkers need to grow up.”

Another user shared a similar experience, recalling a time when their boss noticed their unhappiness at work and inquired about it. When they explained it was due to menstrual cramps, the boss responded with, “You didn’t need to tell me that.” To which the user retorted, “Well, you asked.”

In the midst of the discussion, one user offered a solution to the woman, suggesting, “If anyone complains about a headache or a sore back, you should report them to HR.” They added, humorously, “Where do you work? I’ll get a job there and start talking about periods. I’m a man BTW. Wonder if they’d have a problem then. It’s natural, not a big deal at all.”

Adding a professional perspective, a user with 20 years of experience in HR chimed in with advice, saying, “Tell them you want the details in writing if this verbal warning will be documented in your file. If it won’t be, then you also want THAT in writing. Watch them backpedal until their feet fall off.”

What Steps to Take When Faced with a Warning?

If you were in the woman’s position, receiving a warning for discussing menstrual pain at work, it’s essential to consider your response carefully. Here are some steps you can take:

Step Action
1 Request Clarification
2 Review Company Policies
3 Document the Incident
4 Schedule a Meeting with HR
5 Seek Legal Advice (if necessary)

1. Request Clarification: Upon receiving a warning, seek clarification from your supervisor or HR department. Ask for specific details regarding why discussing menstrual pain was deemed inappropriate.

2. Review Company Policies: Familiarize yourself with your company’s policies regarding workplace discussions and appropriate topics. Ensure you understand whether your actions violated any established guidelines.

3. Document the Incident: Keep a record of the incident, including dates, times, locations, individuals involved, and any conversations or emails related to the warning. This documentation can be crucial if the situation escalates.

4. Schedule a Meeting with HR: Request a meeting with your HR department to discuss the issue further. Present your perspective and provide any documentation you’ve gathered. Be open to understanding their viewpoint as well.

5. Seek Legal Advice (if necessary): If you believe your rights have been violated or the situation is not resolved satisfactorily within your company, consider seeking legal advice from an employment attorney. They can guide you on the best course of action.

Remember, open communication is essential when faced with such situations. It’s important to address the issue professionally and seek resolution through appropriate channels.

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