Christine Ehlers a South African transwoman who was unfairly dismissed from her sales job at a steel company, has settled out of court.
The 43 year old Ehlers sued in 2009 after her employer, multinational steel company Bohler Udderholm Africa dismissed her after she rejected an offer to take a freelance sales position.
Fortunately for Christine, she has Section 9(3) of the South African Constitution on her side. This it what the Constitutionally Speaking blog had to say about it whnshe took her case to court:
Section 9(3) of the South African Constitution prohibits unfair discrimination on the grounds of sex, gender and sexual orientation. In the case of National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality v Minister of Justice the Constitutional Court stated that the concept of “sexual orientation” as used in section 9(3) of the 1996 Constitution “must be given a generous interpretation” and thus applies equally to the orientation of persons who are “transsexual” (another, less politically correct, term for transgendered). Christine was thus obviously discriminated against on the basis of her sexual orientation.
South African Labour Court Judge Ellem Francis ruled on August 13 that Ehlers be reinstated to the position she held at the time of her dismissal with back pay and benefits and take steps to prevent future discrimination.
The company was also ordered to apologize to her within a week.