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A pre-operative transsexual who claimed that she faced sex discrimination at work has settled her case with her employers for a confidential sum. Sharon Persky, an Audio Buying Manager, had worked for S Gold and Sons Ltd, an audio software wholesaler and distributor for more than 20 years. In January 2000 Sharon told her employers that she would begin her transition procedure and would eventually be attending work as a female. She claims that after informing her employers, their attitude towards her changed. Nearly three years after she had informed her employer, despite changing her name by deed poll, amending her details with her bank and other institutions, presenting full time as a female and taking medical advice, her employer still "considered her to be a man".

She alleges that her employer:

Provided her with toilet facilities without a light switch, washing or drying facilities and denied her access to female toilet facilities

Humiliated her by telling her to join the queue of men waiting to be electronically scanned on leaving the premises for security reasons, or face disciplinary action despite allowing her to be searched by female staff for 9 months without question

Wrote letters, without consultation with Sharon, to her parents-in-law and partner asking for intimate details of Sharon's life including whether she was having a "normal man and woman sexual relationship" with her partner, flouting Sharon's privacy and family life and that of her partner.

Failed to take steps to prevent discrimination occurring

Julie Mellor, Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission said

"This case highlights the need for employers to ensure that that they treat all their staff fairly including transsexuals.

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