A transgender man from China has been sacked after a week in a new job because he wore men’s clothes.
Chen, from the country’s Guizhou province in the southwest, was hired by Ciming Checkup, but after a week it let him go stating that his choice of clothing was “incompatible with the company’s image”.
Seeking damages and one week’s pay at a local arbitration commission in Guiyang, the 28-year-old said he thought the company’s decision was “over the top”.
“If it were due to my ability and attitude at work, I would have accepted the dismissal,” he said in an interview with the China News Service.
“But some staff called me gay and said that I ruined the image of the company, which was hard to take.”
Chen’s lawyer, Huang Sha, argued that the company had broken the law.
“A company can fire its employees during the probation period if they cannot fulfil the job requirements, but the company should pay compensation in accordance with the labour law,” he said.
“If Chen was fired out of prejudice, it would be against the contract law.”
Ciming Checkup confirmed that Chen had been dismissed from the company because his image was “incompatible” with its requirements. However, it would not provide more details of what they were.
A manager from the company also added that because Chen met with “senior leaders” from other companies his image was important.
Although advocates have said there is some progression on LGBT issues in China, there is still a deeply rooted social stigma for identifying as LGBT.
Recently, LGBT content was banned from TV in China after a change to guidelines.