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P. v. S. and Cornwall County Council , Case C-13/94, 1996 E.C.R.

Facts: The applicant was an employee in an educational establishment, operated by the County Council. The applicant was hired as a male employee, but later informed the head of the establishment, the respondent, that she wanted to have a gender reassignment because she was planning to undergo an operation for gender change. After the surgery the applicant was not permitted to return from sick leave in her female gender role

Complaint: the applicant that she had been discriminated against on grounds of sex in violation of Council Directive 76/207/EEC of 9 February 1976 on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions

Holding: the ECJ ruled that there had been a violation of the principle of equal treatment in the context of working conditions, more precisely the conditions governing dismissal

Reasoning: the principle of equal treatment meant that men and women should be guaranteed the same conditions without discrimination on grounds of sex. Article 5(1) of the Directive precludes dismissal of a transsexual for a reason related to a gender reassignment. Therefore, dismissal of a transsexual for a reason related to a gender reassignment must be regarded as contrary to article 5(1) of the Directive


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