Calling a trans woman a ‘whore’ is discriminatory because the slur is commonly used in reference to men, a labor court has suggested.
The swear word is not a gender-neutral term, so using it against someone who has transitioned would constitute a violation of equality laws, a panel concluded.
To insult a trans woman without being discriminatory, women-specific slurs should be used, the court suggested.
Her ruling came after a trans bus driver sued the company where she had worked for gender reassignment discrimination.
Amanda Fischer claimed that another employee called her a “slut.”
The agency worker also claimed that a driver drove too close to her because she is trans, causing her to fear for her life, the court heard.
She lost her case after the panel decided that the “w—-r” incident had not actually occurred.
Furthermore, the bus company had argued that the curse word could be used against both men and women.
However, the panel ruled that if it had been used against her it would have been discrimination.
Labor judge Kathryn Patricia Ramsden said: “Despite the [company’s] position, the Court does not consider the slur ‘w—-r’ to be a gender-neutral term.
“Panel members’ own experience of using that term is that it applies to men, and that there are equivalent but different profanities that are specifically used in common parlance to insult women.”
The court, heard in Croydon, south London, heard that Ms Fischer started working for London United Busways at its Hounslow bus yard in 2020 until her contract was terminated on January 15, 2021.
She said another driver called her a “whore” on January 13, 2021, and that the company was “male dominated.”
Ms Fischer told the panel that when she was telling her supervisor about an incident, a ‘tall man’ who was an employee of the company called her a ‘whore’ with an apparently serious facial expression.
She said that he “pushed” her arm with his shoulder and “showed hostility”, which made her “very upset”.
Miss Fischer said this was because he “didn’t like the way she looked”.
Representing herself, she told the court: “I saw that he was not accepting of my gender because in the workplace we have different cultures, different religions, and he was standing there with two other drivers in the middle, looking at me in a very suspicious way. serious, because he didn’t like what he could see in front of him.
“It was basically scary for me.
“He said a bad word to me because he didn’t like my appearance.”
Ms Fischer’s supervisor told the panel: “[The driver] He denied being rude to Miss Fischer, and in fact said that he had not spoken to or about her. He was surprised and confused. I said there must have been a misunderstanding.”
Two days after this incident allegedly took place, Ms Fischer was told that her contract with the company had been terminated, which she told the court was related to the discrimination she faced.
However, the panel concluded that she was not discriminated against for being a trans woman after concluding that the “m—-r” comment had not been made and dismissing her complaint about the near miss.