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Transsexual wins damages over ferry discrimination case

PinkNews Staff Writer December 18, 2006
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A transsexual has been awarded £64,962 in damages after a tribunal concluded that Drusilla Philippa Marland was “forced to endure at work an atmosphere of intimidation and hostility.”

Ms Marland, a P O Ferries crew member claims she was forced out of her job after the company did not protect her from discrimination.

She told the hearing that she was ridiculed because of her gender reassignment and had to deal with jibes such as “we are all men here” on the Pride of Bilbao ship.

She said: “There was a mob culture in the engine crew which saw me as an outsider.”

An internal investigation found that colleagues had behaved inappropriately, the Southampton tribunal heard.

PO Ferries’ human resources assistant Sandra Ray said: “The standard of behaviour of Ms Marland’s workers in the engine room was not what was expected. Most was out of ignorance and not malice.”

She claimed she offered training about how to deal with transsexuals but claimed Ms Marland was more interested in gaining compensation.

After the hearing, Ms Marland told the Press Association, “I feel completely vindicated.

“Filthy lies were told about my behaviour by the crew, and repeated both at the tribunal and in the national papers, in the cynical expectation that they would be believed. They weren’t.

“When I raised my grievance with PO’s management, I was simply looking for an acknowledgement that I had suffered harassment, and some form of recompense.

“Their response was to perform a damage limitation exercise, with me as a sacrifice. They were determined to go down with guns blazing, and now they’ve gone down. I hope they have learned the value of openness.”

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