Fired for claiming her gender, trans woman wins in Russian court

A transgender woman’s three-year legal battle ended in victory this week In St. Petersburg, Russia — the first time a trans person’s labor rights have been protected in a Russian court.

Anastasia Vasilyeva (Kseniya Ivanova photo courtesy of Meduza/East Bay Reporter)

Anastasia Vasilyeva sued her former employer, a printing company, after she was fired in July 2017, a dismissal that came after she changed the gender marker on her ID. In her complaint, she stated that her dismissal was illegal and discriminatory.

In response, the employer referred to a list of 456 professions prohibited for women in Russia, which includes printers.

The LGBT group Coming Out, which provided legal assistance in the case, stated:

After much struggle, the court ruled that the dismissal was illegal. Anastasia was reinstated and paid compensation for moral damage and forced absenteeism. The respondent company tried to challenge the decision. However on June 16, the St. Petersburg city court completely rejected this appeal.

“This is consistent with the statements of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on the situation in Russia,” says Max Olenichev, legal adviser of Coming Out.

“Although the list of prohibited professions isn’t canceled yet, this precedent shows that transgender persons can get protected in courts. It gives strength and confidence to all transgender people in Russia.”

It’s important to notice that the day earlier, on June 15, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers who fire workers for being LGBT are breaking U.S. civil rights laws.

This seems to be a worldwide tendency – we celebrate two major victories over LGBT discrimination.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]


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    • It’s not a recycled story. True, it’s very similar to what appeared earlier elsewhere, but this one included the recent rejection of an appeal to overturn the earlier decision. (“on June 16, the St. Petersburg city court completely rejected this appeal.”)

      Thanks for paying attention and asking.

      — Colin Stewart, editor/publisher of this blog

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