Transgender woman wins landmark labor rights case in St. Petersburg
The St. Petersburg City Court has ruled in favor of a transgender woman, Anastasia Vasilyeva, who was fired from her job at a printing press after she changed the gender marker in her official identification documents. Vasilyeva’s former employer must now pay her more than 1.85 million rubles (approximately $26,500) in damages, reports the LGBTQ rights group “Vykhod” (Exit).
Vykhod noted that this is the first known case where a transgender woman in Russia “openly defended her labor rights in court.”
In July 2017, Vasilyeva was fired from her job as a printer, because, as her employer argued, this position is on the list of 465 professions off-limits to women in Russia.
Vasilyeva then filed a lawsuit for discrimination, demanding reinstatement and 50,000 rubles (approximately $717) in compensation for moral injury. A district court dismissed the claim in November 2017 and the city court upheld the decision in April 2018.
The Presidium of the City Court later sent the case for review. As Vykhod explains, the retrial examination established that Vasilyeva is capable of working as a printer. The list of professions off-limits to women is related to the protection of maternal health, Vykhod clarifies.
The trial court then recognized Vasilyeva’s dismissal as unlawful and ordered the defendant to pay her 10,000 rubles in moral damages (approximately $144) and 1.85 million rubles (approximately $26,500) in compensation for forced absenteeism. The printing house attempted to appeal the decision, but the city court rejected the complaint.