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A transwoman who was demoted after undergoing sex-change surgery is suing Hitachi Data Systems for £500,000.

The Guardian reports that Jessica Bussert accepted a transfer to the firm’s Buckinghamshire office because she thought the environment would be more conducive to her upcoming sex-change.

Her wife, Sharon, who supported her throughout, moved to Britain with her and they rented a home in west London. But Ms Bussert alleges that after she returned to work following facial feminisation and breast surgery in the US, the company reorganised the jobs in her team, making her subordinate to a colleague recently hired at the same level. She was given secretarial tasks such as booking accommodation and travel arrangements.

Two days after filing her discrimination claim in September 2005 she says she had an employee appraisal at which a boss delivered “the most devastating employee evaluation of my entire professional career”. She then went on sick leave with a doctor’s diagnosis of “workplace stress causing clinical depression, together with anxiety and panic disorder”.

After that, Hitachi reported her to to the immigration authorities.