A Rare Legal Victory for a Gay Woman in Siberia
A district court in Novosibirsk fined a carpentry workshop for refusing to hire a woman on the grounds that she is a lesbian. The woman, Anna Balash, went to court in Russia’s third largest city after she applied for a sales manager position twice at Sib-Alliance. After she was turned down from the position, Balash noticed that four months later the job was still vacant. When she applied a second time, the employer provided Balash with a written explanation of their refusal. Non-traditional sexual orientation, said the note, “doesn’t meet the requirements of the organization with respect to the job, and might negatively affect the company’s image and prevent the carrying out of the position’s direct responsibilities. The specifics of the manager’s position are working with clients. The overwhelming majority of our clients support traditional family values, and your employment could lead to profit losses.”
The judge ordered that Sib-Alliance employ Balash and pay her 1,000 rubles (around $15) in compensation for moral damages.