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Four Female Employees at Retail Outlet Experience Period Shaming from Store Manager

A retail manager has been suspended for forcing four female employees to physically reveal their menstrual status.

Four retail employees in Port Elizabeth have allegedly been subjected to a degrading underwear inspection at work. They say it was carried out by their employer, who had accused the women of "dirtying" the staff toilet with menstrual blood.

"I don't know how I got through the day. But I know I was crying in between helping customers. The more I thought about it, the more humiliated I felt because something about what happened felt so wrong. I know I didn't have to let her check me. But without thinking at the time, I was so desperate to prove my innocence in the matter," said one of the employees.

The women work at JA Floral Distributors, a florist, coffee shop and party accessories store in Fairview that employs about 30 people. The employee filed a complaint with the retailer's human resources department and the manager has been suspended.

"I was raised in an environment where you are taught your periods should not be public knowledge. And you must keep clean all the time. And is seen as a private and a personal matter. But at JA Floral on 4 September 2020, I had to make my period public knowledge, pull down my underwear, show how my period looks, my private part out in the open and have my personal matter, privacy and my womanhood discussed at my workplace," said the woman in a written complaint to the human resources manager.

Dominic de Freitas, the son of owner Jorge de Freitas, allegedly summoned the four black women to the company kitchen on the morning of Friday 4 September. They were reportedly told that one of them had left menstrual blood in a toilet and not flushed it, and that person was a "pig" who would be caught and exposed. The women were then sent back to work.

Source: New Frame


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