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UK Tribunal Rules Calling Man Bald is Sexual Harassment


Bald Man with Phone - Perplexed

Photo: Getty Images

Calling a man bald is considered sexual harassment, a British employment tribunal ruled.

According to Huffington Post the tribunal, whose members alluded to their own experiences with hair loss, also compared calling a man bald to commenting on the size of a woman's breast. Three members of he tribunal which hears workplace disputes said that since baldness was more prevalent in men than women, using the word bald as an insult therefore related to a "protected characteristic of sex."

Tony Finn, who worked as an electrician filed a complain and the members ruled on his behalf.

Finn worked at the British Bung Manufacturing Company, which manufactures wooden cask closures for the brewing industry, for nearly 24 years before being fired last year. During a workplace argument in July 2019, Finn's shift supervisor, Jamie King, referred to Finn as a bald c**t, according to Finn. The panel noted that Finn had not complained about the use of a four-letter word, but was offended by being called bald.

"We have little doubt that being referred to in this pejorative manner was unwanted conduct as far as Finn was concerned. This is strong language. Although as we find, industrial language was commonplace on this West Yorkshire Factory floor, in our judgment Mr. King crossed the line by making remarks personal to the claimant about his appearance." the tribunal found.

The panel noted "it is difficult to conclude other than that Mr. King uttered those words with purpose of violating Finn's dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for him."

wWhile the company's lawyer correctly noted that women can also go bald, the members of the tribunal said it is more prevalent in men than women and they find it it to be inherently related to sex.

Although Fin did win his claims of unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, being subjected to detriments and sex harassment, he lost an additional claim for age discrimination.

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