Chinese transgender man files suit against employer

Beijing, April 12 (IANS) China’s first labour arbitration case filed by a transgender man opened in a local arbitration commission in Guizhou province, amid increasing action by Beijing’s sexual and gender minority groups to defend their rights under the law.

The defendant, the Guiyang branch of healthcare company Ciming Checkup, has agreed to pay the transgender plaintiff, Liu, around 1,600 yuan ($247) in salary and compensation, Liu’s lawyer Huang Sha told the Global Times on Monday.

Liu, 29, who was born physically female but identifies as male, was fired one week after he was hired by Ciming last year.

He filed a case with the local arbitration commission on March 7, seeking a week’s salary and compensation for financial losses caused by the dismissal.

Liu demanded a compensation of 2,643 yuan and a public apology from the company.

“I am not doing this only for myself, but also for all those who might face employment discrimination, such as those who are pregnant or disabled,” Liu said.

The arbitration commission’s final ruling will be announced by April end.

According to Huang, the company has insisted throughout the arbitration process that they fired Liu because he was not qualified for the job.

Quoting the head of Ciming’s human resources department, Xinhua news agency reported in March that the company fired Liu because they thought he was gay and his sartorial choices were “incompatible” with the company’s image.

According to a report published by Chinese non-profit organisation Aibai Culture and Education Centre, the LGBT community in China still struggles with social stigma among employers and peers, as many people have yet to accept the group.

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