How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50169
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I have a store and one of my assistants asked a customer if

This answer was rated:

I have a store and one of my assistants asked a customer if she could help him. He was dressed as a man and there was no indication of anything untoward. It turns out the person was a transgender woman and she is now taking a claim for discrimination against me for being called "Sir". Surely this is mad. What defence do I have ?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Where has the claim been made?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In Jersey
We do not have advisers who specialise in Jersey law unfortunately. I can advise on UK law which would be similar but cannot guarantee the application in Jersey. Do let me know how you wish to proceed?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hmm .. ok . If you can give me details of how this might be viewed in the UK and any cases which might be relevant I'll try and do some research.
Gender reassignment is one of nine "protected characteristics" covered by the Equality Act 2010. Under section 7(1) of the EqA 2010, a person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if the person is: "proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person's sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex." Under the EqA 2010, the following acts are unlawful:· Discrimination.· discrimination.· Harassment.· Victimisation. Discrimination occurs where, because of gender reassignment, a person (A) treats another (B) less favourably than A treats or would treat others. Harassment related to gender reassignment takes place when both:· A engages in unwanted conduct related to gender reassignment.· That conduct has the purpose or effect of: violating B's dignity; or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B. Victimisation would not be relevant here. So whilst the person can try and argue that being called Sir was degrading, humiliating, offensive and so on, whether they have a valid claim would depend on the circumstances of the case. Was the remark made to insult or injure the person? Was it clear that they were making such a remark to a transgender person? These are the thing a court would look at. In this case I do not see a court agreeing that this was a malicious or actionable claim because it was not in any way clear that this was a transgender person and as they were dressed as a man there would have been nothing to indicate their gender was different. I think this is just an opportunistic claim. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Ben. Are you aware of any UK transgender cases I can look at? I too believe it is an opportunist claim but I still have to defend it !
Found one which is somewhat relevant:
Chapman v Chief Constable of Essex Police ET/3200488/13 concerned a police officer with long-standing service who is male to female transgender. She complained on three occasions of being mistakenly identified as male over a police radio. The operators did not know that she was transgender and she accepted that she has a deep voice. An employment tribunal rejected her harassment claims, considering that the stresses in her life which were likely to make her over-sensitive; she was unreasonably prone to take offence when her identity was questioned. It was not reasonable for her to feel harassed by this conduct and any female officer with a deep voice would have been treated the same.
However as you can appreciate the laws are all quite recent so there will not be much in terms of case law as it takes years for that to become more esablished
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Ben, that is really helpful. If I need further advice in the future on this can I request you?Kind regards ***** ***** June
Yes of course, you can start your question with Hi Ben or something similar as long as my name is ***** ***** and it will get to me. All the best
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you .. much appreciated.
No worries all the best