Worker Ignites Debate Claiming Women Should Get PTO for 'Heavy Periods'

A viral Reddit post claiming women should get paid time off for "heavy periods" has sparked a debate on the subject, and many people are in favor of more universal time off for all.

The Reddit post is titled, "Women should be given PTO for heavy periods. Do you agree?" The post has received 22,700 upvotes and 3,500 comments so far since it was shared to the subreddit "Antiwork" on March 22.

Some companies offer women menstrual leave, but it isn't a widely used policy. However, The Guardian reports administrations in Spain now offer menstrual leave to employees. Likewise, Japan has offered menstrual leave since just after WWII to women.

CNN reports that South Korea also has had a menstrual leave policy in place since 1953. Certain provinces and businesses in both China and India are following suit as well.

Redditor @CallMeWolfYouTuber revealed she feels people who have a uterus should receive paid time off for "heavy and/or especially painful periods."

"It's so painful sometimes, and it feels like all of the energy has been sapped from your body," the original poster (OP) said. "Not to mention the desperate trips to the gross public bathroom and having to deal with the mess of emptying a cup or changing tampons without proper privacy (you have to leave the stall to clean your messy hands and the cup or just not clean the cup at all)."

Upset woman working
A Reddit post is igniting a debate with a worker claiming women should get PTO for "heavy periods." Here, an upset woman working in front of her computer with her hands on her temple. FIZKES/GETTY

The poster inquired to the rest of Reddit if they think women should receive paid time off or another accommodation "during troublesome periods." The post has ignited a debate on the subject, and people aren't holding back with their thoughts on the matter.

One Redditor's comment, which received over 15,000 upvotes on its own, brings up their own point about leave for periods. "I think you want a generic PTO policy," they said. "Last thing you need is some idiot in HR verifying your claim."

Another user added something similar to the conversation, claiming you don't want "to start giving employers the right the check women's periods to make sure they're heavy."

Some people weighed in with their own stories, while many think workers should receive general paid time off for all, and they think PTO should just be given across the board. "Everyone should have PTO for whatever personal reasons they want to use it," a viewer said.

Many people favor a universal PTO policy for everyone. "I personally believe all employees should have enough basic PTO time that using some for menstrual issues shouldn't be a concern," a Redditor weighed in.

One Redditor doesn't think the "problem" needs to be specified, but they "think if someone's feeling so sh***y for any reason they basically can't function near what normally would (minus hangovers), they should be allowed to take a sick day and it be covered. But yes, I do totally agree if this is your reason for calling off it should be covered."

However, other people certainly agree that women need time off specifically during menstrual periods. "If you're in excruciating pain and can't walk, yeah you probably should have time off," a user pointed out.

One Redditor tends to agree with the OP, stating, "Yep. And period products should be federally subsidized or tax-deductible. It shouldn't cost extra to have internal genitalia."

However, not everyone was of the same mindset about paid time off given the circumstances. "No, not every woman has a period, or difficult ones, it would lead to an unfair culture," a user said. "I do think there should be more private toilets though..."

Another Redditor doesn't agree either, and they have questions. "Uhh... No?" they said. "How would you even prove that? Just a free week of PTO for every woman?"

Redditor @CallMeWolfYouTuber told Newsweek: "I think it's important to be respectful of all the different opinions and to remain civil when discussing hot button topics. I do believe menstruation should be a valid reason for calling out without consequence."