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Trans woman wins Condor Ferries discrimination case after being told to use disabled toilet

Nick Duffy May 25, 2016

A trans woman who was told she wasn’t allowed to use the ‘Ladies’ toilet has won a case against Condor Ferries.

The ferry company had faced action over its treatment of Jersey trans woman Erin Bisson from the company – which operates ferry services between the Channel Islands and Poole, Portsmouth, and France.

As a Crown Dependency, Jersey maintains autonomy from the UK, and the case – heard in Jersey’s courts – was the first to rely on the island’s own gender discrimination laws, introduced in 2015.

Ms Bisson says she had asked the company which toilets she should use, and was advised “I should be using the disabled toilets”, which she says amounts to direct discrimination.

The company admitted to a “non-intentional and non-malicious act of discrimination”, and says it has worked with Ms Bisson to implement changes “to remove the possibility of inadvertent discrimination” in future.

Channel Islands LGBT group Liberate said: “We’re disappointed that the situation arose but we are very pleased that Condor Ferries have pledged to take steps to avoid this happening in the future, and that discrimination against transgender people is being taken seriously – well done Jersey!

“Even if it is not yet required by law on every island, we hope other businesses will take this opportunity to review their own policies and ensure they are not inadvertently discriminating against their transgender employees.”

Law firm Ardent Chambers told ITV: “This case shows that something as simple as the way in which a person is addressed or the manner in which signage is displayed can result in findings against a business of indirect discrimination.

“The tribunal will not consider a lack of employee awareness an acceptable explanation for any discriminatory conduct.”

More: Condor Ferries, Discrimination, England, Erin Bisson, jersey, LGBT, Trans, Transgender

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