Ireland: woman wins workplace discrimination case

// 19 April 2011

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Louise HannonVia NewsTalk (also The Journal and RTE):

In the first case of its kind, the Equality Tribunal has awarded €35,000 to a transexual worker who was discriminated against on gender and disability grounds.

Louise Hannon complained that after she told her employer First Direct Logistics Ltd she was transexual and needed to live in her true female identity she was discriminated against.

She says her work conditions were made so intolerable that she was ultimately constructively dismissed.

Miss Hannon claims she had to liaise with clients dressed as a man, was asked not to use the ladies toilet and was told to work from home, before she was eventually dismissed.

The Equality Officer stated that transexualism is a recognised medical condition, and concluded that Louise Hannon had suffered discrimination on gender and disability grounds.

Whilst I’m happy that Ms Hannon won her case, I also believe it’s one that should never have happened. And the fact that her employers at First Direct Logistics Ltd felt they could blithely disregard her employment rights speaks volumes about the arrogance of some sections of cissupremacist society in believing that transphobic bigotry and discrimination is acceptable.

But in the end, it seems to me that it’s not about the money: it’s about eradicating the outmoded and reactionary attitudes that allow this sort of hateful treatment of transsexual women in the workplace to continue.

Comments From You

Lorna // Posted 19 April 2011 at 8:36 pm

I’m very pleased for this women (and hopefully it’ll have an impact for people in this situation in future) but as you say it should never have happened.

Helen (or anyone else): I’d be interested in what you have to say about the final paragraph, this bit: “The Equality Officer stated that transexualism is a recognised medical condition”.

Personally, I wouldn’t consider transexualism to be a medical condition, I’m willing to be corrected. It seems a bit like saying “being male is a medical condition”?

Helen G // Posted 19 April 2011 at 9:13 pm

Hi Lorna

Yes, transsexuality does indeed have a fully-fledged medical definition. You may find this page and this page at T-Vox useful starting points.

Let me know how you get on?

Helen

Helen G // Posted 21 April 2011 at 4:03 pm

Keren: The terminology you use in your submitted comment is cissexist and, as such, in clear breach of this site’s policy. I am therefore unable to publish it.

I would ask that you please read, and take note of, The F-Word bloggers’ position on transphobia and cissexism and reconsider your use of such offensive language in any future comments you submit.

Helen

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