Current Affairs

Transsexual loses £500,000 unfair dismissal claim

Tony Grew January 8, 2007
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A transsexual who claimed she was forced to leave her job at Hitachi Data Systems after changing sex has lost her claim for half a million pounds compensation.

It was thought to be the largest claim ever made under the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999.

Jessica Bussert, formerly Josh, had claimed she was demoted after surgery to “feminise” her face and breasts.

The 41-year-old, who is yet to have the surgery completed, was a principal consultant for the company earning £88,000 a year.

Ms Bussert said she was demoted after facial and breast surgery in March 2005, and was allegedly issued a negative appraisal.

She claimed this resulted in her taking sick leave for stress in September 2005, returning three months later, but then from February 2006, the company allegedly stopped paying her when she returned to sick leave.

However, an employment tribunal in Reading ruled that she had left “of her own free will.”

Last year Ms Bussert was told to leave the country by the Home Offfice as her permit is no longer valid because she is no longer employed by the company she is suing.

She pursued her claim from the United States.

In a statement to, Hitachi Data Systems said, “Whilst we were confident we would win, we are obviously delighted that in its summation the Employment Tribunal has so totally vindicated the way that the company and its managers handled the situation surrounding Ms Bussert’s gender reassignment.

“The Employment Tribunal’s unanimous verdict was extremely positive and supportive of Hitachi Data Systems’ actions.”

The judgement commended Hitachi managers and said the company had displayed good management practice and had embraced diversity.

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