Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Trans Man Wins Possible First Discrimination Case in China



By Sabrina Samone, TMP



Last year young Chen, filed a complaint with a labor arbitration committee in Guiyang, in the southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou; attributing his firing to bias against transgender individuals.

It is being described as the first case in China involving transgender discrimination in the workplace. Remarkable in a country that ass zero protections against LGBT discrimination. "We found this a little bit of a shame," Huang Sha,  said the lawyer for the 28 year old trans masculine identified plaintiff. The Plaintiff Chen, said in an interview last year that the company's human resources manager had complained that he dressed like a gay man and looked too "unhealthy" to be an employee for a health checkup company.

The company was ordered to pay Chen nearly sixty one dollars(402 renimibi), for the probation
Mr. C center, with legal team
period, but rejected his demand for an additional month's pay of 2,000 renminbi and an apology. As a result, he and his lawyer went to court.

The court held its first hearing in June but adjourned when Mr. Huang demanded an examination of two documents that the company had submitted as evidence that Chen had been fired for poor performance, failing to dress according to company standards and missing work.

The case resumed in December, after court-appointed experts from Center of Forensic Science at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law concluded, there was no way to authenticate the two documents. The court's ruling was issued on December 30th.

Mr. Huang said the court concluded that the company had failed to prove that it had fired him for reasons permitted as grounds for dismissal under labor law, and ordered the company to pay Mr. C, the 2,000 renminbi in compensation. The court however, also said there was no proof that Chen's termination had resulted from the company's discriminatory  attitude toward transgender people, and did not grant him an apology.

"This has demonstrated how low the cost of breaking the law is for employers," the lawyer said, referring to the amount of compensation. "This is why the current job discrimination situation is so grim."

"This case also highlights the problem of 'invisible discrimination,' because employers can always claim they fired people for reasons other than the one they're accused of," he continued to say.



While we have witnessed many lawsuits in the U.S over the past eight years, and this is China's first, the lawyer does bring up a valid point about invisible discrimination. Many states, including mine of South Carolina are 'Right To Work' states. There is a lot of legal rambling in the law, and it is said to prevent the growth, and power of Unions, but the fact remains it also gives employers the right to fire without cause. This is where the problem with invisible discrimination comes into play, even in good old USofA.


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