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To be furious for being called out for menstruating at work?

(560 Posts)
Snuffalo Tue 11-Jul-17 15:04:58

Having horrible menstrual cramps, naproxen isn’t touching it, and I remember I have a hot water bottle in my desk drawer - I used it all winter in my freezing office, and a few other people, male and female, have one as well - we have a rule against personal space heaters so it can be nice to have under your desk next to your feet.

Anyway. I fill the hot water bottle, nestle it in my lap, and I’m back to work. My sort-of-supervisor* we’ll call Guy comes over to talk to me about something, notices the hot water bottle, says “there’s no way you’re cold today, are you?” I say “um, no, just for the pain relief”. He looks confused and then literally horrified and then he walks away.

Less than ten minutes later, I get a Slack message from one of the HR admins (HR is based in another office a few hours away) to say “Guy says you’re not well and should go home, everything OK?”

I say “I’m fine, this is sort of weird, he just looked a bit shocked that I had a hot water bottle, I’ve got cramps, you know how it is.”

She goes silent and then offline completely, ten more minutes later, the HR Director calls me and asks me if I can find a meeting room, which I do. She then tells me that I shouldn’t disclose my medical problems to anyone who isn’t part of HR as it can make them uncomfortable. I’m literally shocked, I explain exactly what happened, she says “yes I understand, if you’re so unwell you need a hot water bottle you should be home, Guy is extremely uncomfortable and it’s unprofessional”. I say “this is weird, ok, anything else”? She’s quite breezy and professional - “No, that’s all, if you’re feeling better that’s great but if you need to, please do go home, OK bye!"

I’m just completely flabbergasted. Especially considering that Guy has been known to take meetings with clients whilst laying flat on the floor on his back because of back problems - which seems to me both unprofessional and likely to make people uncomfortable, not that I really cared personally. I wouldn’t have had my hot water bottle in a client meeting or even if clients were in the office.

Other people have standing desks, weird foot rests, all kinds of chairs and special backrests for their back pain and wrist braces for their wrist pain and a hundred other things and I’m not allowed to have a hot water bottle for my menstrual cramps? Am I right to be completely fucking furious?

*I normally have no problem with Guy, we don’t work closely, no one else does what I do at work but he comes closest and he does my nominal (and always positive) performance reviews and signs off on my holiday.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 11-Jul-17 15:08:30

Guy needs to grow the fuck up.

What did I actually just read?! shock

RhubardGin Tue 11-Jul-17 15:09:19

Wow! What an over reaction from your work shock

Guy sounds like a twat!

teaandtoast Tue 11-Jul-17 15:10:37

Why did he bloody ask, if he didn't want an answer?

CheeseOfHearts Tue 11-Jul-17 15:11:35

So in other words, 'please don't mention anything that might be remotely related to your icky lady parts, men can't cope with it'? Since it's ok to talk about back pain and anything else. YANBU. That's an idiotic attitude and Guy needs to grow up. Surprised HR took this up with you. It's beyond weird and sexist and you're right to be furious.

hibbledobble Tue 11-Jul-17 15:11:37

Wow, that sounds like a huge reaction on everyone's part!

halcyondays Tue 11-Jul-17 15:12:16

The HR director sounds a bit of an idiot as well.

Shadow666 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:12:38

He's ridiculous. HR is ridiculous. Most women menstruate. It's a perfectly normal body function. My coworker complains every month to me about cramps. They both need to grow up.

SpaghettiAndMeatballs Tue 11-Jul-17 15:12:52

ROFL - woman has period shocker!

Seriously - Gary clearly has no women in his life if he doesn't realise that sometimes there's nothing to be done but the hot water bottle, and going home isn't going to help anything so you may as well be at work. Not like it's infectious.

Gary needs to grow up.

TipTop333 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:13:36

I'm not excusing Guy's reaction here in the slightest, but I think it was HR who behaved appallingly in this situation.

MikeUniformMike Tue 11-Jul-17 15:15:00

Periods aren't a medical problem. Jesus, what next, will you get sent home because you need a pee.

Groupie123 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:15:34

Do you have a complaint process for HR? If not go straight to your CEO and explain you experienced sex discrimination from your head of HR as you were called out on having menstrual cramps when other colleagues have had their illnesses brushed over. Document it all.

halcyondays Tue 11-Jul-17 15:15:44

I wouldn't care if someone had a hot water bottle in a meeting, but have you tried those heat patches? They are great for period pains, you can get them in Poundland.

Guitargirl Tue 11-Jul-17 15:15:54

Guy is a weird fucker and your HR department are an absolutely useless shower who clearly don't have enough work to do.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 11-Jul-17 15:16:01

And yes, HR were massive dicks as well.

Why on earth didn't they tell Guy it's no big deal? Instead of pandering to the sensitive ickle wickle man being offended by the vaguest allusion to <shocked whisper> MONTHLIES.

Whatsername17 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:16:21

I'd put in a complaint. You didn't disclose a medical condition, you simply said you were using the hot water bottle for pain relief. Guy needs to stop clutching his pearls.

coffeecoffee14 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:18:10

OMG!!! That is bloody ridiculous (no pun intended). That guy overreacted like an immature 12 year old! HR were ridiculous too.
I feel your pain today 😭

ChrisPrattsFace Tue 11-Jul-17 15:19:13

OP, YABU, obviously you need to stop menustraying because you're making him whey uncomfortable. He has every right to delve into your personal business.... hmmgrin
I'd have a follow up / strong worded email sent to HR if that was me!

LucieLucie Tue 11-Jul-17 15:19:46

Why on earth have HR even entertained what this 'Guy' has said?!

I'd have thought it should have come via your line manager, certainly not HR.

I'd have questioned them on it as in "you seriously want me to take sick leave for menstrual cramps?!"


TipTop333 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:19:56

Guy to HR: "THERE'S A WOMAN! ON MY TEAM! WHO IS.... <whispers> on her period. DO SOMETHING, WILL YOU???"

DefinitelyOdd Tue 11-Jul-17 15:20:14

Ancient Greeks used to believe that women's periods could control the weather and summon storms. Maybe Guy is afraid of thunder?

In all seriousness, Guy and HR need to sod off. Periods are not a medical conditon (as my old pe teacher used to tell me when I tried to skive cross country). Have you got a complaints procedure to follow?

Jellycatspyjamas Tue 11-Jul-17 15:20:35

I always thought menstruation was a normal physical process, not a medical condition or medical problem.

Bunlicker Tue 11-Jul-17 15:21:06

he felt uncomfortable!

I'm sorry what? It's a Normal biological function. If you say you're going to the toilet does he get the vapours too?

I'd write a long angry email. I'm sure the posters on FWR can help you draft one!

Bunlicker Tue 11-Jul-17 15:22:06

Ancient Greeks used to believe that women's periods could control the weather and summon storms. Maybe Guy is afraid of thunder?

By the power of Menstuaties I command thee thunder!

badtime Tue 11-Jul-17 15:22:14

I've got to admit, I would email HR and ask for them to reiterate this non-disclosure policy in writing, and to clarify what could and could not be disclosed (e.g. bad back, cough).

Basically, there is no way for them to do that without saying what they meant, which was clearly 'eeeeew, periods'.

coffeecoffee14 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:23:19

Periods are not a medical problem. In fact, not having periods is often a medical problem😂. on a serious not though, if you said you were feeling sick, would he get uncomfortable at that as well😂 after all periods are just as normal as that is.

ExplodedCloud Tue 11-Jul-17 15:24:24

Good grief. What do they do if someone gets pregnant? Sign them off for conspicuous uterus?

Bunlicker Tue 11-Jul-17 15:24:49

I'd email him this.

And I'd buy him this.

RatherBeRiding Tue 11-Jul-17 15:24:59

I'd put in a complaint too. It's not exactly a medical problem - what if someone had seen you knocking back a couple of paracetamol and you mentioned they were for pain relief? Is that disclosing a medical problem??

Your HR need a bloody good talking to. As does Guy. But it's appalling to make such a fuss about someone having a hot water bottle. I regularly used to have one for back pain. It does seem like discrimination if other people are allowed aids to manage their various conditions, but you are told you should go home as you are making someone "uncomfortable"??

Bunlicker Tue 11-Jul-17 15:25:26

conspicuous uterus?

I had that once. It was awful

KoalaDownUnder Tue 11-Jul-17 15:25:27

Guy when he encounters the 'sanitary products' aisle of the supermarket.

FrToddUnctious Tue 11-Jul-17 15:25:37

Guy comes over to talk to me about something, notices the hot water bottle, says “there’s no way you’re cold today, are you?” I say “um, no, just for the pain relief”

So they are offended by you uttering the words "um, no, just for the pain relief” ?

Utterly bonkers. Maybe put something in writing about what was actually said as the guy may have been misleading in how he reported the conversation.

Valentine2 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:25:38

I think Guy was trying to be nice. Ended up messing it a bit.
I would ignore the lot of them and carry on. I would use this for a rainy day but I can be mean like that.

WinchestersInATardis Tue 11-Jul-17 15:25:59

Wow. Just wow. I would be fuming.

stumblymonkeyagain Tue 11-Jul-17 15:26:02

I think I would be tempted to explain, as though to a five year old, that you don't have medical issues, you have a period.

cjt110 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:26:05

How unprofessional of all involved.

Neutrogena Tue 11-Jul-17 15:27:51

Leave it. Let it go.
Guy is probably someone who still refers to it as the 'curse'...

frasersmummy Tue 11-Jul-17 15:29:14

Take one week in every 4 off..when they complain say you would be at work but you don't want to make guy uncomfortable...😂😂

Shadow666 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:29:20

Gary was trying to be nice? By reporting her to HR for having a period?

Snuffalo Tue 11-Jul-17 15:30:01

Oh my god, you are all making me laugh so hard. Things are definitely documented, and I'm definitely considering taking this over the head of HR. Either that, or calling in sick 3-4 days every month - as it's Guy, as my supervisor, who takes those calls. "Oh hey Guy, sorry, not feeling well, would you like to know why? No? OK, see you in a few days!"

scottishdiem Tue 11-Jul-17 15:30:19

Perhaps he read the stories on places like the Guardian where period pain is indeed mentioned as an equivalent of a medical condition and that menstrual leave is a good thing.

If you are in pain then is it not a good thing that your work is concerned about it and offering to let you go home sick.

Is it a good thing that period pain is recognised by the employer or a bad thing? Responses here suggest not which is odd.

Should the things that cause you pain be part of general office chit chat? Apparently periods yes - so what about other things?

upperlimit Tue 11-Jul-17 15:30:54

Oh no Op, you aren't being all female in the workplace are you?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 11-Jul-17 15:31:09

I'd put in a complaint, I've never heard anything so ridiculous in all my life!

KoalaDownUnder Tue 11-Jul-17 15:31:19

I actually would not let this go.

It's 2017, and your workday has to be interrupted so you can be scolded because 'Guy is extremely uncomfortable and it's unprofessional'??

Fuck no. Why do women still have to put up with that?

KoalaDownUnder Tue 11-Jul-17 15:32:25

Missing the point specularly there, scottish.

RhodaBorrocks Tue 11-Jul-17 15:32:31

The fuck am I reading?! That's appalling! Do they want to build an employee menstrual Hut while they're at it?

Dibbles1967 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:32:36

So Guy is questioning your inner thermostat, which then results in your having to tell him you simply require pain relief, then HR call a meeting?!

If you were sitting with it against your back, it wouldn't have been a problem.

If it was under your knee, not a problem.

If you had an ice pack on your ankle, not a problem.

Nothing you mentioned saying, disclosed any medical issues, which he clearly complained about. Surely the resulting comments from HR is some kind of gender discrimination?

WTF he takes meetings whilst lying down?! do you work in marketing per chance?

A strong letter to HR & a visit to the docs for pain management required (I had totally debilitating pain until I tried lots of pills but micronor finally did the trick for me)

SapphireStrange Tue 11-Jul-17 15:33:10

He's ridiculous but it's HR who are enabling it. What tits they sound.

I'd definitely complain. It's discriminatory, surely?

DoomGloomAndKaboom Tue 11-Jul-17 15:34:57

Well this is wonderful news. A few days a month they are sanctioning you to go home sick, in case your disgusting unclean womanly ugh-fest upsets your snowflake coworkers.

You must spread this news about the office, and make sure those who don't have periods also get a few days off a month, because it's not their fault they don't get to surf the crimson wave.

Tell HR you are uncomfortable with Guy's discomfort and you demand a cuddle. Or free beer. Or something.

How totally ridiculous. You might also complain that in asking if you were cold, with such surprise, Guy was forcing you to reveal the horror of your period, thus totally making you humiliate and embarrass him, a position you find wholly upsetting. So you'd like HR not to allow Guy to remark on hot water bottle use to you or anyone else, because now you're upset he's upset by the thing he did that made you upset him to the point where he is upset, which has upset you further.

Questioningeverything Tue 11-Jul-17 15:35:11

He feels uncomfortable?? How the fuck does he think you feel?

Period pain is a bitch

amusedbush Tue 11-Jul-17 15:35:18

Periods... ewwwwww! hmm

Guy sounds like the sort of twat who couldn't bear the fact that his partner pooped or grew body hair. I've known a few of those delicate little petals and I have no time for their double standards. They're usually the sort of man who'll tell you that your leg is hair disgusting but will then fart on you and guffaw about it.

Foxysoxy01 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:35:34

Wow! angryhmmconfused

I really think you should make a complaint! Imagine if it was your first job and you had been lacking confidence and easily worried Guy would could have really made you feel awful!
I thought being scared of women and their icky monthly episodes was a thing of the past.

ThymeLord Tue 11-Jul-17 15:36:18

You should put in a formal complaint about this. For starters, you didn't disclose a medical condition. Periods aren't a medical condition anymore than going to the toilet is a medical condition. If an adult man is so pathetic that he is 'uncomfortable' with the thought of a menstruating female then he needs to go and work somewhere where there are no women. It is absolutely not your problem and your HR department should be dealt with by whoever is higher up the chain. This is absolutely shocking. I almost want you to be making this up OP.

RhodaBorrocks Tue 11-Jul-17 15:37:03

Also, I don't have periods, but I do have IBS and on bad cramp days I can be seen knocking back Buscopan with a wheat bag on my belly. That's 'for pain relief' too. You could have had that, not your period. Guy has made a massive assumption, although he may be grossed out by number 2s as well...

MagentaRocks Tue 11-Jul-17 15:37:04

You couldn't make shit like this up. Agree you should pursue this. Ask HR if they are telling you that you need to take 5 days sick leave a month in order to not bring such horror into work. I don't see how saying you need the hot water bottle for pain relief is disclosing a medical condition. 1 - it's not a medical condition, 2 - even if you needed the pain relief for a medical condition you still wouldn't be disclosing what that condition was by what you said.

Maudlinmaud Tue 11-Jul-17 15:37:26

How dare he. Hot water bottles are life to me, mine burst the other day, so please be cautious.

amusedbush Tue 11-Jul-17 15:39:02


Can you imagine old Guy's face in that situation?? "Oh, no, I don't have my period, it's just vicious case of diarrhoea!" grin

Ohyesiam Tue 11-Jul-17 15:39:53

They could make it a policy only to employ prepubescent girls, just for guy.

I would make a complaint pronto. You neither initiated this information exchange, or filled in the details.

SleightOfHand Tue 11-Jul-17 15:39:53

Maybe Guy likes to be the centre of attention, laying on his back in meetings?? He's probably pissed he can't get attention every month.

AtlantaGinandTonic Tue 11-Jul-17 15:39:54

Guy sounds like all the prepubescent boys at my school who couldn't cope with the idea that a good proportion of the world's population had a menstrual cycle each month. It's not a medical condition, it's life. It's necessary. for. life. YANBU at all to be upset at being called out.

mrwalkensir Tue 11-Jul-17 15:40:24

Did Guy just report that you are in pain. She rang off, spoke to him/ explained and now he's embarrassed he put you in that position. Sounds like he was being sympathetic and HR have been a bull in a China shop

RockyBird Tue 11-Jul-17 15:41:09

Get it in writing and employment lawyer could have a lot of fun with that one smile

scottishdiem Tue 11-Jul-17 15:42:10


That was my thought. It is possible to be concerned about a colleague in pain and uncomfortable that they are in pain whilst working.

But that is missing the point apparently.

GoonBridge Tue 11-Jul-17 15:45:00

Perhaps they should offer a quarantine unit for you to work in for 3 days a month?!

Absolute tossers

cdtaylornats Tue 11-Jul-17 15:45:01

Most likely Guy has only ever known women who don't suffer badly and is actually horrified you are in pain.

TwoBobs Tue 11-Jul-17 15:45:11

I would email them to clarify that if you need a hot water bottle to relieve period pain they are asking you to call in sick?
Get it in writing. If they agree then I'd be having an extra day or two off a month. They can't complain if it's in writing can they?

To be honest I'd be furious too. OMG! Women have periods, whatever next? It's not like you were making a song and dance about it. He shouldn't complain as he asked the question. Not your fault that he didn't like the answer!

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Tue 11-Jul-17 15:47:55

Isn't funny how the only pain condition that HR deems worthy of making a fuss about is one that only women can suffer.

I would ask them whether or not they are going to issue a policy on the disclosure of medical conditions as quite a few people discuss their bad back, tennis elbow etc in the office. Will they all be receiving similar phone calls?

HoldBackTheRain Tue 11-Jul-17 15:48:18

I think someone should tell Guy that not all women menstruate like Carrie grin

ijustwannadance Tue 11-Jul-17 15:49:36

I would definately complain.
It would make me question his upbringing tbh. Poor delicate flower.
HR should've told him to go away.

coddiwomple Tue 11-Jul-17 15:50:09

Poor Guy, I bet he has seen some of the threads on here and doesn't know how to react.

Ignore his colleague in pain: will get in trouble
Discuss her private details with her: will be accused of sexism or god knows what.
Does the right thing, contact HR and let them deal with it, as in accessing if colleague really able to work, discuss private and intimate details: still gets in trouble!
He has done absolutely the right thing not to try to discuss medical info with you, but not ignoring the problem completely when you told him you were in pain!

HR could have handled it better however. I can't see what else Guy could have done.

With the attitude of some women nowadays, my own DH would be more than uncomfortable to discuss their menstruating and period pains, whilst he doesn't think twice about buying my sanitary product at lunch time when I am stuck at my desk.

WinifredAtwellsOtherPiano Tue 11-Jul-17 15:50:10

I would email back to HR saying
A) is this new "don't disclose medical conditions" policy to be implemented with immediate effect? Because I saw Jane from finance making a Lemsip and Fred from marketing is about to start sneezing now it's hay fever season.
B) Guy shouldn't ask questions if he doesn't want to hear the answers.

RubaDubMum89 Tue 11-Jul-17 15:50:44

snuffalo do you not know that bears can smell menstruation? This is a readily acknowledged scientific fact that's mentioned in the film Anchor Man. Obviously, YABVU to be putting the whole office at risk of a bear attack! In light of this I think you should either A) purchase some bear traps to be strategically placed to ensure the safety of your co-workers B) come to work every month dressed in appropriate attire (Indiana Jones / Laura Croft type gear) adorned with appropriate apparatus (lasso, stun gun, cross bow) so that your coworkers are clearly aware you are menstruating, but, are prepared to defend them to the death from bear attacks or C) as mentioned previously, ring Guy every month and inform him that for the safety of the office, you will be off this week, thus wrestling bears at your own home, not in office gringringrin

IloveBanff Tue 11-Jul-17 15:50:46

OP, that was an excellent a PP made above re. someone having the hot water bottle against their back for pain relief. Would Guy have complained to HR then and would HR have behaved similarly? If not, why not?

BewareOfDragons Tue 11-Jul-17 15:51:06

You work with complete and utter idiots.

Medical problem. hmm Even primary aged kids get sex ed and know better!

Topseyt Tue 11-Jul-17 15:51:07

Both Guy and your HR department sound like twats.

Periods are part of normal, everyday life. Not a medical condition at all.

I would email back saying that you see no reason to be made out to be some sort of pariah for having a period, that you will therefore not be going home and that prior to this you did actually believe that other adults (male or female) realised that WOMEN HAVE PERIODS.

coddiwomple Tue 11-Jul-17 15:51:17

*accessing? ASSESSING
ffs blush

EmpressOfTheSpartacusOceans Tue 11-Jul-17 15:51:24

Surely the resulting comments from HR is some kind of gender discrimination?

Sex discrimination. This is about being a biological female, not about identity nonsense.

HoldBackTheRain Tue 11-Jul-17 15:51:40

But seriously your HR is outrageous for entertaining Guy's fear of your period pains. What a fucking liberty. Sorry if you've already answered this, but are you in a union? If so, contact them. Let's just hope they're more understanding of menstrual cycles than HR!

TwoBobs Tue 11-Jul-17 15:51:55

What about the possible discomfort you felt having to explain why you had the hot water bottle?

FuckYouLinda Tue 11-Jul-17 15:53:29

HR are being ridiculous. Please keep us updated on how you respond to them.

Crunchymum Tue 11-Jul-17 15:54:38

I'd be inclined to go home and take a few days off every month as to "not make anyone uncomfortable"

(provided you get paid of course!!)

PeppaPigTastesLikeBacon Tue 11-Jul-17 15:54:40

Guy is a dick. I have hot water bottles at work for my arthritis pain. It's an easy thing to have without taking anything.

I don't think naproxen would be good for cramps. It's an anti inflammatory. Maybe try something like paracetamol or cocodamol (you can take them along side naproxen). I hope your cramps pass. They can be horrid!

GoonBridge Tue 11-Jul-17 15:55:02

Poor Guy, I bet he has seen some of the threads on here and doesn't know how to react.

Yeah, right hmm so he chooses to massively over react and recoil in horror at the thought of a bleeding vagina.

He will positively keel over and die when he finds out how children are born, poor bloke.

TwoBobs Tue 11-Jul-17 15:55:22

Sounds like HR have made a mountain out of a molehill.

coddiwomple Tue 11-Jul-17 15:56:06

What about the possible discomfort you felt having to explain why you had the hot water bottle?


If you cannot even mention innocently a hot water bottle without someone getting their knickers in a twist, you cannot possibly wonder why the poor guy went straight to HR to deal with the issue...

PeppaPigTastesLikeBacon Tue 11-Jul-17 15:56:59

I wonder what he would do if he saw you take a tampon out of your draw to use 🙀🙀

coddiwomple Tue 11-Jul-17 15:57:55

so he chooses to massively over react and recoil in horror at the thought of a bleeding vagina.

I didn't read the story as a guy horrified by periods, but more very wary of the subject with a woman at work! Reading the posts on here, he was right to stay well out of it.

1bighappyfamily Tue 11-Jul-17 15:58:18

(Peppa I was prescribed naproxen years ago for cramps - it's very very very good)

I work in HR. Go to the HR Director's boss. That is not acceptable.

Topseyt Tue 11-Jul-17 16:00:54

Coddi, he didn't stay out of it. He went to HR and told them how uncomfortable it made him feel and how unprofessional the OP was.

RhodaBorrocks Tue 11-Jul-17 16:01:27


Can you imagine old Guy's face in that situation?? "Oh, no, I don't have my period, it's just vicious case of diarrhoea!" grin*

"Oh don't worry Guy, I have the shits. But hey as long as I'M NOT BLEEDING!"

Why do I get the impression he's one of those men who compare menstruation and breastfeeding to men pissing and shitting in public?

IloveBanff Tue 11-Jul-17 16:01:32

The OP didn't even mention "shocking" words like period or menstruation FFS. All she said is that the hot water bottle was for pain relief when Guy queried her having it! So ridiculous.

HSMMaCM Tue 11-Jul-17 16:03:03

I think Guy was taken a bit by surprise and then tried to be nice by suggesting to HR you could go home for the rest of the day. HR were being ridiculous.

SewMeARiver Tue 11-Jul-17 16:03:17

What utter arseholes. But I'm not suprised. I have weird looks at work for taking extra toilet time during my heavy periods. Sometimes I have had to spell out to my supervisor that I must use the loo. Then (usually he, but sometimes even the odd female supervisor) looks horrified, like I just told them about my diarrhoea or something, not something perfectly natural that their mothers, girlfriends, sisters, daughters and wives have either all or yet to experience. It really is discriminatory. I find myself in locations where no provision has been made to ensure toilets are nearby and readily accessible. I have asked my co workers and virtually all of them are on the pill and have light periods so I look like I'm making a big fuss over nothing.

Benedikte2 Tue 11-Jul-17 16:03:40

Well when I was employed by a Local Authority we were supposed to have a fitness to return to work interview after a period of sick leave. Can you image how the interview would go if you took sick leave every time you menstruated? Women who work closely together are sai to co-ordinate their cycles. In organisations employing mainly women, imagine the chaos.
I think I'd delay menopause just for the chance to work a 3 week month. No more requesting leave for special events -- just have an unexpected period.
Too many of us to threatened to employ males only.

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Tue 11-Jul-17 16:03:48

I would definitely get it in writing.

What "medical conditions" are you allowed to mention/not allowed to mention at work? (Give them a list - hay fever, colds, IBS, period pains, tennis elbow etc. as suggested above).

Can they confirm in writing that you were sent home because you mentioned to a colleague (who asked) that you were in pain (no reason for the pain given), and ask them to explain why they thought this was a proportionate reaction on their part?

Can they confirm in writing that this was because the colleague was embarrassed on realising that the pains in question were period pain?

Ask whether they are authorising you to take an extra 3 days sick leave a month without threat of disciplinary sanctions (given that you can perfectly adequately perform your job during those days, provided you are allowed to manage the pain in reasonable ways).

Then take their response to an employment lawyer and sue the bastards for sex discrimination. Or enjoy your extra 3 days off a month, whichever appeals to you more.

They are being total dicks, and Guy needs to be handed some smelling salts and told to get a grip.

IloveBanff Tue 11-Jul-17 16:03:57

"Coddi, he didn't stay out of it. He went to HR and told them how uncomfortable it made him feel and how unprofessional the OP was."

Precisely. Idiotic man, and yet they took him seriously and actually added to the stupidity.

littlebrownbag Tue 11-Jul-17 16:04:02

Buscopan. It's bloody marvellous stuff that works on both period cramps and IBS cramps. Can't recommend it enough.

I've noticed that some men can deal with "injuries" but not "illness", so a broken ankle wouldn't cause them to go green, but anything that may ultimately involve bodily fluids causes a rapid retreat. Sounds like "Guy" is one of them. So is my DH - he wouldn't report to HR but he'd run away and Never Talk Of It Again.

coddiwomple Tue 11-Jul-17 16:04:06

I completely agree with him. If he had ignored a colleague in pain, needing a hot water bottle to ease it, he would have got in trouble too.
Seriously, the boss cannot win. He did the right thing.

HR on the other hand did not!

coconutpie Tue 11-Jul-17 16:05:17

What the actual fuck did I just come read??!!

Complain to whoever that hr director reports to.

coddiwomple Tue 11-Jul-17 16:07:30

I am female, and I would be very uncomfortable to see a one of my subordinate doubled up in pain with a hot water bottle! It sounds perfectly reasonable to involve HR and not go into private details yourself. What exactly do you expect the boss to do?
Please do not say ignore, because said boss will get in trouble or be complained against for ignoring.

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