Sweden: did Stockholm hospital "Södersjukhuset" discriminate against a transgender person?

By Madelene Ackheim

06-2020

This new law suit concerns the changing facilities for a transgender person, and whether the hospital acted correctly when asking her to change in a toilet instead of the female changing room.

The transgender employee in question was born male, and developed a female gender identity, which she communicated to her manager at time of employment. Some time after commencing her employment, the employee decided to also inform her colleagues of the gender change, started medical treatment and also changed her Swedish personal number from male to female. After this, it was agreed with her manager that she would start using the changing room for female employees, as she did not feel comfortable using the male changing room. However, after a few days of doing so, she was informed that she could no longer use the female changing rooms and that instead she should use an office. The transgender employee was never given a reason why she could no longer use the female changing rooms. Later, she was asked to use a toilet to change and to lock her belongings in the male changing rooms.

The Electricians Union of Sweden "Elektrikerförbundet" argues that the hospital has treated the transgender employee worse than other female employees who has not changed their gender identity, and that this constitutes discrimination based on gender. As such, The Electricians Union of Sweden demands that Södersjukhuset pay SEK 50,000 in discrimination compensation to the transgender employee.

The case will now be settled by the Swedish Labor Court - we will keep you updated once there has been a ruling later this year!