Settlement in transgender case

2010-09-01 13:11

Christine Ehlers, a transgender woman who claimed she was unfairly dismissed, has reached an out-of-court settlement with the company, its lawyers said.

“There is a settlement. The terms of the settlement are confidential,” said Bohler Udderholm’s lawyer Yusuf Nagdee, without elaborating.

Ehlers (43), who was previously known as Chris, took the company to court claiming she was unfairly dismissed last year for undergoing “sexual reassignment” on the advice of her sexologist.

She had worked at the steel company, in Isando, Johannesburg, as a sales representative. She was dismissed after rejecting an offer to take up a freelance sales position.

She claimed the company unfairly discriminated against her by dismissing her.

The settlement was reached yesterday, before a ruling by the Labour Court in Johannesburg on Bohler Udderholm’s application for leave to appeal against a court ruling on August 13.

Judge Ellem Francis had ruled that Ehlers be reinstated to the position she had held at the time of her dismissal with back pay and benefits.

The company was ordered to apologise to her within one week.

The court also ordered Bohler Udderholm take steps to prevent future discrimination.

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