Gender-fluid Jaguar engineer wins £180,000 after discrimination ruling

Gender-fluid Jaguar Land Rover engineer, 43, who was branded ‘IT’ for wearing women’s clothes by bullying colleagues wins £180,000 after landmark discrimination ruling

  • Rose Taylor, 43, was teased and harassed by colleagues at Jaguar in 2017 
  • She suffered insults and abusive jokes from the hands of cruel co-workers 
  • One colleague asked if her outfit ‘was for Halloween’ and referred to her as ‘it’ 

A gender-fluid engineer who was branded ‘IT’ by bullying workmates at Jaguar Land Rover has been awarded £180,000 after winning a landmark discrimination case.

Rose Taylor, 43, was teased and harassed by colleagues at the car manufacturer after she began identifying as gender fluid/non-binary in 2017.

An employment tribunal heard how she suffered insults and abusive jokes at the hands of cruel co-workers after she started wearing women’s clothes.

One colleague asked her if her outfit ‘was for Halloween’ while another contractor told her: ‘It’s nice to see you in this attire. You have cracking legs.’

Another worker asked her ‘So what’s going on? Are you going to have your bits chopped off?’ while she overheard two others say: ‘Have you seen IT in the atrium?’

Rose Taylor (pictured leaving the Centre City Tower in Birmingham today), 43, a gender-fluid engineer who was branded ‘IT’ by bullying workmates at Jaguar Land Rover, has been awarded £180,000 after winning a landmark discrimination case

One female co-worker also described her as ‘not normal’ when she announced she was transitioning and she was also told to use the staff disabled toilet.

Another asked her why the ‘top half didn’t match the bottom half’ while a different colleague said: ‘I was checking out your dress, saw it was you and my jaw dropped.’

The hearing was told how on one occasion a male worker laughed at her when she suggested he wear a rainbow lanyard – a symbol of support for LGBTQ pride.

Ms Taylor claimed constructive dismissal and victimisation on the basis she had suffered discrimination because of gender reassignment and sexual orientation.

Ms Taylor was teased and harassed by colleagues at the car manufacturer after she began identifying as gender fluid/non-binary in 2017

And last month she won her claim against the Midlands manufacturing giant after an employment judge in Birmingham ruled in her favour.

The victory is believed to be the first successful claim of its kind and was hailed as a ‘milestone’ in recognising the rights of non-binary and gender fluid people.

Until now, there was uncertainty over whether The Equality Act protected those who who fell into the gender fluid/non-binary category.

Jaguar Land Rover argued it did not but an employment judge said it was clear ‘gender is a spectrum’ and that it was ‘beyond any doubt’ Ms Taylor should be protected.

Today Ms Taylor wiped away tears as she was awarded a £180,000 payout from her former employer and told the judge: ‘It’s still all sinking in.’

Employment Judge Pauline Hughes said: ‘Hopefully your case will bring about real change.

‘That is what we would all wish to see. The response has been extremely positive.

‘Everyone in the room can think of a person who has made a difference in their life.

‘The entire history of equality and equality movement has individuals such as the claimant who have made a difference.

‘The likes of Rosa Parks, Doctor Martin Luther King, Harvey Milk, Baroness Jane Campbell, Viv Anderson, Baroness Hayle and Notorious RBG.

‘In our opinion Rose has made a difference. Because she brought the case hopefully what happened to her will not happen to anyone else again at JLR.

‘I can see JLR has taken the findings seriously. That is a positive thing.’

Ms Taylor, of King’s Heath, Birmingham, will receive the payout within seven days and a further costs hearing was scheduled to take place in December.

The tribunal was told Ms Taylor, who worked for JLR as a navigation engineer for 20 years, changed the way she presented three years ago.

But she suffered various insults after she began mainly wearing women’s clothes at the company’s factory in Coventry before she resigned in 2008.

The original judgement ruled ‘the claimant has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment’ and the allegations of harassment were ‘well-founded’.

It added: ‘The claimant’s allegation of victimisation in respect of the respondent’s failure to permit her to retract her resignation is well-founded.

The tribunal was told Ms Taylor, who worked for JLR as a navigation engineer for 20 years, changed the way she presented three years ago

‘The respondent’s statutory defence to the above allegations fails, and is totally without merit. The claimant was constructively unfairly dismissed.’

Her barrister Robin White said after the case ‘Obviously Rose is pleased particularly because the case will make a difference for other people at JLR and more widely.

‘The case has changed the law and clarified protections for gender fluid and non-binary people and what they need at work.

‘She is pleased both that there was financial compensation of course, and Rose is particularly pleased to see the real impact this could have on other people.

‘We hope the case shows that the time Rose was working there JLR didn’t appreciate other gender identities.

‘I would be hopeful that the effect of the case would be that they will move forward and make changes and become one company which leads in this area rather than lagging behind.

‘We are relieved to hear them say they got it badly wrong, but would have preferred them to admit that earlier rather than fighting us to the finish.’

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