A transsexual woman has been awarded more than 35,000 euros for workplace discrimination by the Republic of Ireland’s Equality Tribunal.

Louise Hannon brought a case against her ex-employers, First Direct Logistics, with the support of Ireland’s Equality Authority.

Hannon had been diagnosed with gender identity disorder, and first came to work in her female identity in March 2007.

Work superiors told Hannon she would have to come to work dressed as a man, but the company’s director later told her she could dress as a woman as long as she reverted to a male identity when with clients.

After a month she was sent to work from home until a new office was ready. After two months went by without her being called back, she resigned.

The equality officer found the company had little understanding that gender transition had been an appropriate treatment for Hannon’s condition and that employers had a duty to be aware of their employees’ health needs to ensure they did not discriminate against them.

The equality officer ruled that making Hannon switch between a male and a female appearance was discriminatory and awarded her 35,423 euros.

“We regret we failed to provide the full level of support and understanding required in these circumstances,” a First Direct Logistics spokesman said.

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