Woman Was Reported to HR for Having Period Cramps & People Are Outraged

woman holding stomach in pain
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For some unnecessary reason, having your period in the workplace turns a normal week into a shameful one. From trying our best to be discreet about carrying tampons into the restroom to struggling to focus while suffering from cramps, many of us would argue the workplace has a long way to go when it comes to period acceptance. One British woman, who goes by Snuffalo on the forum Mumsnet, recently shared an encounter that testifies to this statement.

  • One day, Snuffalo was having terrible cramps, and nothing was providing relief except for a hot water bottle.

    A male coworker, whom she isn't close with but has no personal issues with, walked by and asked if she was cold. She told him it's just her period, and instead of it being the NBD that it is, he walked away looking "literally horrified."

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  • Then, Snuffalo received a strange and unfriendly message from HR.

    Apparently, her coworker reported her to HR following the encounter.

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    "I'm fine, this is sort of weird, he just looked a bit shocked that I had a hot water bottle," Snuffalo told the HR admin. "I've got cramps, you know how it is."

  • The HR director demanded a meeting with Snuffalo to tell her that she shouldn't be disclosing uncomfortable medical problems.

    The male coworker was apparently "extremely uncomfortable and it's unprofessional," the HR director told Snuffalo. Snuffalo was given an ultimatum: Either feel better if she wants to keep working in the office or go home.

  • She was "completely flabbergasted" at the double standard.

    Coworkers have special desks and chairs for their own pain issues. Heck, even her coworker who went to HR lies on his back during client meetings because he has back problems. Snuffalo said she wouldn't have used her water bottle if she'd been with a client -- she was just at her desk at the time.

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  • Other folks on the forum totally agreed with Snuffalo, and were outraged at both her coworker's and HR's reactions to her cramps.

    "HR should have told him to grow up, and perhaps be curious about reality for a large proportion of half the race!!!" one person commented. "You did well not to explode and to keep your cool."

    "Totally ridiculous on [the guy's] part and completely wrong of HR," another added.

    We couldn't agree more, and hopefully other human resource departments will take note and start treating periods more fairly and as less of a taboo.

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