Rose Taylor, a gender-fluid engineer who was branded ‘IT’ by cruel, bullying workmates at Jaguar Land Rover has been awarded £180,000 after winning a landmark discrimination case.
On Friday, Ms Taylor wiped away tears as she was awarded a £180,000 payout in a landmark case of gender bullying from her former employers and colleagues at Jaguar Land Rover.
Ms Rose Taylor was bullied by insensitive colleagues at Jaguar Land Rover in 2017.
She suffered insults and abusive jokes from the hands of cruel co-workers, with one colleague asking. if her outfit ‘was for Halloween’ and referred to her as ‘it’.
43-year-old Rose Taylor was teased and harassed by colleagues at the car plant after she began identifying as gender-fluid/non-binary in 2017.
Ms Taylor claimed constructive dismissal and victimisation against Jaguar Land Rover on the grounds that she had suffered discrimination because of gender reassignment and sexual orientation.
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?’
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.
In September, she won her lawsuit against the Midlands manufacturing giant after an employment judge in Birmingham ruled in her favour.
The feat is believed to be the first successful lawsuit of its kind and was hailed as a ‘milestone’ in recognising the rights of non-binary and gender-fluid people.
Until Ms Rose Taylor’s landmark ruling, there was scepticism over whether The Equality Act insured those who fell into the gender-fluid/non-binary category.‘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, who hails from King’s Heath, Birmingham, will receive the payout within seven days and a further costs hearing was planned for 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.
Jaguar Land Rover gives an apology to Ms Rose Taylor
Dave Williams, JLR’s executive director of HR, said after the ruling:
‘On behalf of Jaguar Land Rover, I would like to apologise to Ms Taylor for the experiences she had during her employment with us.
‘We continue to strive to improve in this area and we respect the outcome of the case.
‘We welcome the recommendations and will implement these to strengthen our diversity and inclusion strategy, which has been developed in consultation with our employee-led networks and our board sponsored diversity and inclusion steering committee.‘Jaguar Land Rover does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We are committed to creating an environment where everyone can flourish, where our employees feel listened to, understood, supported and valued equally.
‘We continue to work with our leaders, employees and employee-led diversity networks to foster a diverse, inclusive and gender-balanced culture that is representative of the society in which we live.’
Jaguar Land Rover argued that it had been supportive of Ms Taylor until her disengagement from the company, but an employment judge said it was clear that ‘gender is a spectrum’ and that it was ‘beyond any doubt’ Ms Taylor should be protected.
Employment Judge Pauline Hughes told Ms Rose Taylor: ‘Hopefully your case will bring about real change.”