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30 Jul 2020


Japan: Transgender job applicants fear 'forced outings' due to resume requirement

[Excerpt translation from Japanese to English provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.]

“Is the ‘gender box’ on resumes power harassment? Applicants fear ‘forced outings’”, 1 July 2020

On June 30, [2020]...NPO POSSE submitted a letter to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in which we called on the government to prohibit requiring applicants to indicate their gender on their resumes.

We [NPO POSSE] also submitted 10,418 signatures collected on a petition called “Let’s lose the gender identification on resumes #Whyisithere?” on...Change.org that began this February.

...Even though indicating one’s gender on a resume is unnecessary, it remains a common practice. 

...In the case of transgender applicants, they face a discrepancy in terms of the gender identification on their family registry and their appearance. As a result, they are exposed as a sexual minority when they indicate their gender on their resumes.

On the other hand, there are cases where job offers were rescinded when applicants entered their current gender identification on their resumes, but a prospective employer later learned of the gender indicated on their family registry. It is illegal to rescind a job offer on the basis of gender. However, discrimination is rampant.

...The gender box on resumes has led to the extremely serious problem of systematically “outing” applicants. When employers circulate personal information revealing that an applicant is a sexual minority, it contributes to “forced outings”.

...The Anti-Power Harassment Law, which was implemented this January, defines outing a worker as power harassment and requires employers to establish preventative measures and awareness-raising activities...

Requiring transgender individuals to indicate their gender on their resumes constitutes not only a serious human rights violation, but also a violation of the Anti-Power Harassment Law...