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16 Jun, 2020 18:39

Saint Petersburg court awards $27,000 to transgender woman who was fired after sex change

Saint Petersburg court awards $27,000 to transgender woman who was fired after sex change

A Russian transgender woman has successfully sued her former employer for over 1.85 million rubles ($27,000). Activists say it’s the first time a transgender person has openly defended their labor rights in Russia.

Anastasia Vasilyeva was dismissed in 2017 from her job in a printing company, after she switched genders. As a man, she had worked in the position for more than a decade. The employer justified its decision on the basis that the job of a printer is one of 456 professions prohibited for women in Russia.

Vasilyeva’s contention was that, in her case, there were no issues related to the protection of reproductive health so she should be exempt from the rules. The list of restricted roles is only related to maternity care, birth and care for a newly born child.

In April 2019, a court awarded her 1.85 million rubles in compensation for her forced absence from work and another 10,000 rubles ($150) for “moral damages.”

The printing company appealed the decision but that was struck out on Tuesday by Saint Petersburg City Court, according to LGBT support group Exit, as reported by numerous Russian media outlets.

An official list of 456 professions from 38 industries from which women are banned has been in force since 1974. The latest version, approved in 2000, includes the professions of train driver and long-distance bus driver. The UN believes the practice infringes on women’s rights.

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“Every woman has the right to choose a profession, and the absolute prohibition of such a choice, established in Russia by a list of professions prohibited for women, is a manifestation of discrimination,” Max Olenichev, an adviser to the LGBT foundation ‘Vyhod,’ where Vasilyeva had applied for legal assistance, told news outlet Lenta.

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