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Transsexual woman launches two discrimination cases

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In a highly unusual and potentially record-breaking case, a transsexual woman has launched discrimination claims on both sides of the Atlantic.

Jessica Bussert alleges she was demoted after informing her employer, Hitachi Data Systems, of her planned transition and that she was subjected to retaliatory actions after filing a claim with a British tribunal.

The British hearing is set to start in Reading on Monday and is expected to last ten days. Hitachi denies all charges.

Ms Bussert, a US citizen, has worked for Hitachi for five years, first in Indiana and then in the UK.

She filed a claim with the British tribunal service in September 2005 and is seeking damages of £500,000. She has also been granted the right to sue in California, where she has alleged damages of £1.93 million. The papers for that case are being prepared.

These damages are estimated to be the highest yet for a sex discrimination case involving a transsexual.

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