Association Transgenre Wallonie
Page E42 - The professional environment
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Say, boss ! My trans identity has not amputated

 my intellectual faculties or my professional abilities.

The professional environment

of a trans* person

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Very real discrimination is the source of fears, sometimes founded or not, among transgender people in relation to the world of work. On the other hand, employers, not too well informed, may also have had fears in relation to transidentity. Hence the need for good information for both parties: employers and employees.

Although society is moving in the "good sense", it still happens too often that a person entering transition and coming out to his colleagues and bosses, is first humiliated, then discriminated against, before being deemed totally incompetent and ultimately fired. And this, even if in previous periods, its activity reports were all judged to be good or even excellent. This suggests that transidentity causes the person concerned to lose all their skills.

And yet the law has evolved. There are currently three laws which are the legal basis for the fight against discrimination. First of all, there is the general law of May 10, 2007 which tends to fight against certain forms of discrimination. Then there is another law of May 10, 2007 which aims more specifically to fight against discrimination between men and women And finally, there is the law of July 30, 1981 which aims more specifically to repress certain acts inspired by racism and xenophobia. Despite this legislative arsenal, it still happens that a person loses their job because they are transgender but their dismissal does not explicitly mention this reason. Other more fallacious reasons are invoked such as incompetence or even sometimes serious misconduct! Some employers are lawless and they stop at no sacrifice to satisfy their transphobia.

The general law aimed at combating certain forms of discrimination prohibits discrimination on the grounds of age, sexual orientation, marital status, birth, wealth, religious or philosophical beliefs, political beliefs , language, current or future state of health, disability, physical or genetic characteristics and social origin. You will notice that gender identity is not listed here.

This discrimination is included in the second law of May 10, 2007 aimed at combating discrimination between men and women. This law prohibits any form of discrimination based on sex. Discrimination based on sex change, gender identity or gender expression is included. This law explicitly prohibits direct or indirect discrimination, injunction to discriminate, harassment and sexual harassment.

The assimilation of a direct distinction based on the change of sex to a direct distinction based on sex (art. 4 §2 of the law) corresponds to European Directive 2006/54/EC. This directive, which follows a judgment delivered by the Court of Justice of the European Communities, stipulates that the scope of the principle of equal treatment between women and men cannot be limited to the prohibition of discrimination based on to either sex, and that the principle also applies to discrimination based on a person's change of sex.

The assimilation of a direct distinction based on gender identity or gender expression to a direct distinction based on sex (art. 4 §3 of the law) was introduced by the law of 22 May 2014. L The aim is to provide broad protection against discrimination to all transgender people and not just to people planning to undergo sex reassignment treatment, who are undergoing treatment or who have undergone it.

So, ladies and gentlemen employers, it would be the minimum to comply with this law and judge people on their value at work and not on what goes on in their panties! Take the example of the army and the police and many other state services that have transgender people in their ranks who do their jobs with a great deal of professionalism.

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