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4 Feb, 2021 14:40

Russian court once again insists transgender woman can keep printing job she was fired from after legal gender change

Russian court once again insists transgender woman can keep printing job she was fired from after legal gender change

A transgender Russian woman has won a court case against an employer who fired her after she legally transitioned from male to female. It is the third time a court has recognized her dismissal as illegal.

According to LGBT rights group Vykhod (Coming Out), which provided legal representation for the woman, a Saint Petersburg court on February 1 once again ruled her sacking was unlawful.

“This case is the first known precedent in Russia when a transgender person has openly defended a violation of their labor rights in court,” said a statement from the group.

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In 2017, Anastasia Vasilyeva was working as a printer at the Janoschka Pavlovsk plant in Saint Petersburg. At that time, she changed the gender in her passport to female, and was immediately fired.

The employer justified the decision by noting that the occupation of printer is one of 456 professions that women are banned from having in Russia. However, Vasilyeva’s lawyers argued that the restrictions are only to protect maternal health.

Later in 2017 Vasilyeva filed a lawsuit to be reinstated at work and demanded compensation for moral damages. The court rejected her claim. Then, a year later, after the Vykhod group appealed, a court presidium canceled the decision and ordered a new trial.

In April 2019 the court ruled her sacking was unlawful and ordered Vasilyeva to be reinstated at work and paid compensation. The decision was upheld again in 2020. This marks the third time courts have ruled in favor of the transgender woman’s right to continue working as a printer.

“The courts have taken the correct position, not allowing discrimination of transgender people after the change of documents,” said Max Olenichev, her lawyer. “I am sure that when Anastasia was fired, the employer was guided by gender stereotypes that have no place in the modern world.”

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