Transgender worker ‘sacked’ for using female toilets

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A trans woman has alleged she was sacked by an employer because she refused to stop using the women’s toilets.

Keira James, 31, had worked for insurance company Aviva in Sheffield since June 2014, through a third-party recruitment agency.

However, she was told not to return earlier this month, after a dispute over toilets.

Ms James told the Sheffield Star: “I no longer felt comfortable using the men’s toilets so plucked up the courage to use the female toilets..

“A few weeks later I was told by a manager that some staff had said they did not feel I had a right to use the female toilets.

“Then a week later I was told by the recruitment agency that I was not to return to the role, I’m certain there is a link between the two and I’m now without a job.

“I’ve never had a problem at work before – it was horrible, really embarrassing and brought back a lot of gender anxiety that I’d experienced for years.”

The Sheffield Industrial Workers of the World Union held a protest on Wednesday outside the Aviva HQ, to draw attention to the decision.

Branch secretary James Mclntrve said: “The Sheffield IWW has reason to believe that the termination of our member’s employment is solely the result of gender discrimination by company management.”

A spokesperson for Aviva said: “We’re proud of being an inclusive employer and have a very clear policy on managing gender identity in the workplace.

“Although we’re still investigating the matter, sadly it seems on this occasion, that policy may not have been followed and we are very sorry if this is the case.

“We have made it clear to our supplier that the individual concerned is very welcome at Aviva.

“We would also welcome the opportunity to meet with the individual concerned, together with a representative of the supplier, to apologise for any misunderstanding.

“Aviva is very supportive of the trans community, we have an active Aviva Pride LGBT employee network and we’re passionate about enabling people to be themselves at work.”