National / Social Issues

Transgender employee to sue after being forced to come out at work

Kyodo

A transgender woman is planning to sue an affiliate of beverage maker Yakult Honsha Co., claiming she was forced to divulge her gender dysphoria at work, sources said Sunday.

The woman will file a damages suit with the Nagoya District Court, demanding Aichi Yakult factory pay ¥3.3 million ($31,700), according to the sources.

The affiliate company told Kyodo News that the worker had consented to explaining her gender identity issues to her colleagues.

The worker claims she suffered depression as a result of her treatment in the factory, which produces some of Yakult’s beverages.

According to the sources, the worker was diagnosed with gender identity disorder in January 2014 and adopted a female name in May that year following approval by a family court.

The worker asked the company to change her health insurance card but wished to continue using the former male name in the office. The company, however, changed the worker’s name tag to the female name without consultation.

When the worker urged the company to allow her to use the women’s locker room, the company forced her to come out in front of her colleagues, the sources said.

The worker was forced to announce at a morning meeting at the factory that she had received treatment for gender identity disorder three times, according to the sources.

As a result, the worker became depressed and suffered from insomnia. She was diagnosed with depression in January last year, the sources said.

The worker claims her personal rights were infringed when she was forced to divulge that she had gender dysphoria. “I want the company to create an environment in which sexual minorities can work without hesitation,” the worker said.