HR – Tribunal Rejects Transsexual Officers Claim

In a recent first of its kind case, an employment tribunal ended when it ruled against a transsexual police officer who brought a claim of discrimination and harassment against the Essex Police force.

Police Constable Emma Chapman, who underwent gender change surgery from male to female 14 years ago, made the claim after she said she was forced to confirm that she was a transsexual over a police radio.

However, the tribunal claimed that she was “unreasonably prone to take offence” and her reaction to requests for confirmation of identity had been extreme.

Chapman made the complaint after a number of incidents where her gender was questioned by control room operators who wanted to verify her identity as a female because they believed her voice to be male.

The first incident occurred in October 2012, when Constable Chapman was challenged about her gender over the radio and a further two incidents occurred in June 2013. After the first incident, Chapman reported it to her employer but claimed Essex Police failed to carry out a full investigation and interview the control room operator.

Constable Chapman told the tribunal that due to these incidents she had been forced to “out herself” and this left her in distress, Chapman also went on to say that the incidents had created an “intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive environment” to work in.

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