Trans woman awarded £25,000 in case against employer who deadnamed her

In her ruling on the case, the judge said the claimant had received “less favourable treatment” because of her employer's use of her deadname.

A trans woman has won a case against her employer for being deadnamed. The image shows a trans Pride flag in front of an old building.
Image: Ink Drop via Shutterstock

A UK court has ruled in favour of a trans woman after she took a case against her employer for persistently using her deadname in their systems despite her raising the matter on several occasions. The claimant referred to as Miss AB, was awarded over £25,000 at the tribunal hearing, which took place in Kingston, Croydon.

Miss AB told the employment tribunal that it had taken officials at the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, where she worked, two years to amend her name on her door pass, pensions records and on the staff directory. During her testimony, she also revealed that the name on her locker had only been updated by crossing out her deadname and rewriting her correct name on a sticky note. 

She asserted that when she complained, managers had refused to take her seriously and had instead instructed her to apologise to an official for accusing them of being involved in a “witch-hunt” against her.

As a result of the mental toll, which Miss AB attributed directly to the discrimination she had experienced, she revealed that she had been forced to take six month’s sick leave.

Judge Fiona McLaren, who had presided over the tribunal, ruled in favour of Miss AB, declaring that she had suffered “less favourable treatment” as a result of the deadnaming and ordered the Southwest London borough office to pay £25,423 in compensation, £21,000 of which was awarded for ‘injury to feelings’.

Judge MacLaren also described the borough’s policies and practices at the time of Miss AB’s transitioning as “woefully inadequate with both a failure to provide guidance to staff undergoing transition and to team managers”.

In delivering her verdict, she also criticised the borough as “it does not appear any apology has been offered to the claimant or other staff potentially facing the same issues”.

The case has been hailed as a landmark win and is believed to be the first time a person has been awarded damages as a result of discrimination arising from the persistent use of someone’s deadname and the failure to uphold their gender rights.

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