A transsexual has launched the biggest ever legal claim to be brought over a sex change.
Jessica Bussert, formerly known as Josh, is seeking £500,000 from Hitachi Data Systems under the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999.
She is also suing Hitachi in the US for $3.6m (£1.93m) damages over claims the company demoted her from her high-level IT job after she had facial and breast surgery.
The regulations apply to any employee who intends to undergo gender reassignment, is going through the process or has already done so.
Bussert relocated to the UK from the American Mid West because she thought the UK would be more accepting of transgender people. The move came after a 19-year-old transsexual was murdered and set on fire in Indiana near where Bussert came from.
After taking six weeks off for the facial feminisation and breast surgery in March 2005, Bussert claims she was effectively demoted because she had to report to a different person who had previously been hired as her equal and was given basic administrative tasks normally performed by secretaries. Her salary remained the same at £88,000.
A spokeswoman for Hitachi UK said: “We don’t think it’s appropriate to comment, other than to say that we deny those allegations and will be defending them to the full extent.”