A gender-fluid/non-binary worker who experienced harassment and abuse while employed at Jaguar Land Rover has won a landmark discrimination case.
The ruling removes uncertainty over whether UK law protects employees who are gender fluid/non-binary.
Gender-fluid/non-binary worker wins case
Rose Taylor worked for Jaguar Land Rover as an engineer for 20 years.
In 2017, after she began wearing women’s clothes, her colleagues subjected her to insults and abusive jokes.
She said management subsequently failed to offer any support.
As a result, she filed a constructive dismissal claim, however, it was unclear whether Equality Act protections covered gender fluid/non-binary workers.
The Act protects a number of defined characteristics.
- gender reassignment;
- marriage and civil partnership;
- pregnancy and maternity;
- religion or belief;
- sex; and also
- sexual orientation.
Gender-fluid/non-binary worker protected
Judge Hughes at the Birmingham Employment Tribunal soon removed all doubt.
He said it is “clear … that gender is a spectrum” and that it is “beyond any doubt” Taylor is protected.
The judge also said gender reassignment “concerns a personal journey and moving a gender identity away from birth sex”.
Although the case, heard at an employment tribunal, does not technically establish a legal precedent, it is bound to be influential in similar claims.
“TRANSGENDER EX-PRISONER LOSES DISCRIMINATION CLAIM”
Following the ruling, Taylor’s barrister, Robin Moira White, who has transitioned from male to female, said:
“This is an important judgment, albeit at first instance, recognising for the first time the rights of a small number of individuals with complex gender identities.
“Once again the courts have shown themselves willing to stand up for the rights of individuals in a manner which demands respect and admiration.”
Jaguar spokesperson Dave Williams told Forbes magazine:
“On behalf of Jaguar Land Rover, I would like to apologise to Ms Taylor for the experiences she had during her employment with us.
We continue to strive to improve in this area and we respect the outcome of the case.
“Jaguar Land Rover does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.
We are committed to creating an environment where everyone can flourish, where our employees feel listened to, understood, supported and valued equally.”
Taylor is now working as an engineer with another company.
The tribunal will determine her compensation payment in coming weeks following the ruling.
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