Company's Dismissal of Transsexual Ruled Illegal
[TOKYO, JAPAN] - The Tokyo District Court on Thursday ruled a company's decision to dismiss a transsexual employee was illegal and ordered it to compensate the employee, handing down the first ever ruling concerning transgendered employees in Japan.
According to the ruling, the company rejected a proposal in January by the employee, who was born as a male, for approval to work as a woman.
The employee began coming to work in March dressed as a woman, but was fired in April for violating office regulations.
Judge Jiro Hosokawa said that while it became mentally difficult for the employee to work as a man around December last year, due to various factors, the company made no efforts to improve the employee's situation.
''The dismissal is invalid as it was not fully proven that the employee's presence would have damaged the standing of the company and its businesses,'' he said.
The judge also ordered the company to pay the employee 2.64 million yen, which is a portion of the salary that would have been paid to the employee until next April.
The employee legally adopted a female name through a family court in July last year.
Transsexuals are defined by the World Health Organization as people who want ''to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by a sense of discomfort with, or inappropriateness of, one's anatomical sex, and wish to have surgery and hormonal treatment to make one's body as congruent as possible with one's preferred sex.''