Beijing, LGBT Rights: Transgender Woman Sues Former Employer for Discrimination 

07/07/2020

Chinese public opinion welcomes the historic court ruling on employment discrimination. The court: “Modern society is becoming more  diverse, we should learn to accept them” 

After a Beijing court ruled in favor of a trans woman who was fired after she had sex reassignment surgery, China’s transgender community has been celebrating what’s seen as a landmark victory against employment discrimination. The court issued its sentence in January, but a wider attention came recently. “Modern society is becoming more and more diverse.

We are always finding novelties around us, and we learn to gradually accept them unless they threaten others’, the collective’s, national or social common interest,” the court wrote. In a rare ruling on discrimination against transgender people, the Beijing court decided to convict the e-commerce platform Beijing Dangdang Information Technology. According to Chinese judge, the company was wrong to fire an employee for “absence of work” after she took two months of leave for the surgery in 2018.

According to the court the employee, surnamed Gao, should reinstate her labor contract with Dangdang and the company should pay her overdue salary of about 120,000 yuan ($17,069). The court also ruled that Gao has the right to use the office’s women’s toilet and other colleagues should accept her identity and work with her with an inclusive mentality. 

 

“Young people call me the Statue of Liberty of China,” says Jin, who was photographed Sept. 21 at her studio in Shanghai.

Jin Xing, 52, transgender, a former male ballet star and army colonel. She’s China’s most popular TV hostess, also known as “the Chinese Oprah”

 

This is not the first time that a transgender person has turned to China’s courts over employment discrimination, media said. In 2016, a court in Guiyang, Southwest China’s Guizhou province, assigned a trans man compensation for unfair dismissal, despite the Guiyang court did not rule on whether he had been discriminated against based on his gender identity

What’s seen as a landmark victory against employment discrimination, is that the Beijing court’s comments on Gao’s case about attitudes toward gender and sexual minorities and its urging for the public to be more open-minded in particular attracted the approval of some members of China’s transgender community.

“Modern society is becoming more and more diverse. We are always finding novelties around us, and we learn to gradually accept them unless they threaten others’, the collective’s, national or social common interest,” the court wrote.

 

The post Weibo concerning the sentence drawing over 350 million views.

 

“We are used to understanding society based on our understanding of biological gender, but there are still those who express their gender identities based on their own life experiences. For this persistent social expression, we often need to reexamine and re-understand, which can take a long time. But in fact more and more people choose to be more inclusive and it is necessary for us to gradually change our attitudes,” the court ruled..

The court’s statement was appreciated not only buy public opinion – the hashtag  of the ruling started to trend on Weibo – drawing over 350 million views as of Monday, but lawyers welcomed this sentence too. Wang Yongmei, lawyer, said that this ruling broke through society’s misunderstandings, prejudices and discrimination against transgender people and will help them to protect their labor rights. Yu Shuangshuang, a lawyer who has represented severals of transgender people, said that the ruling could come in handy as a citation in future job discrimination cases, though the actual effect will depend on the individual cases.

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