Things Have Got Hairy! Calling Men 'Bald' Equates to Sexual Harassment, UK Judges Rule
A judiciary panel noted that since hair loss is far more prevalent among males, the term is "inherently related" to sex.
British judges have decided that calling a man "bald" in the workplace is no better than sexual harassment. Thursday’s ruling, which was reported by The Telegraph newspaper, came in the case of electrician Tony Finn who had sued the small Yorkshire-based family company British Bung, which produces wooden cask plugs.
According to Finn, British Bung supervisor Jamie King allegedly called him a "fat bald c***" shortly before the former was fired. A special panel headed by Judge Jonathan Brain ruled that the comment was a "degrading" and "humiliating" insult, amounting to harassment.
"In our judgment, there is a connection between the word 'bald' on the one hand and the protected characteristic of sex on the other", the court said. "We find it to be inherently related to sex. So too, it is much more likely that a person on the receiving end of a remark such as that made by Mr. King would be male".
According to the panel, “King crossed a line by making personal remarks to the claimant about his appearance".
"It is difficult to conclude other than that Mr. King uttered those words with the purpose of violating [Mr. Finn’s] dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him", it stated. "Of his own admission, Mr. King's intention was to threaten [Mr. Finn] and to insult him", the ruling added.
Similarly, the judge ruled that Finn was fired unfairly after 24 years on the job. His financial compensation, however, is yet to be determined.