Judge rules calling men bald is sexual harassment

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 12 May, 2022 17:39 | 2 mins read
Picture of a man suffering baldness. PHOTO/Courtesy
Picture of a man with baldness. PHOTO/Courtesy

A panel of judges in Sheffield, United Kingdom have ruled that calling a man ‘bald’ is sexual harassment.

Each of the three judges overseeing the North Yorkshire tribunal themselves suffered from hair loss and concluded using the word ‘bald’ to describe someone is a form of discrimination.

Judges have ruled that calling a man ‘bald’ is sexual harassment. 
Judges have ruled that calling a man ‘bald’ is sexual harassment. 

One of the judges pointed to the fact that baldness is more prevalent among men than women, making it a form of prejudice. 

According to The Telegraph, the judges also moaned about their own baldness during the hearing, which, the paper points out, basically suggests commenting on a man's baldness at work is the same as remarking on the size of a woman's breasts.

The judges decided on the ruling during a case brought by electrician Tony Finn, who was fired from the British Bung Company in May last year after almost 24 years on the job.

Finn, who will now be compensated, took the Yorkshire-based company to a tribunal, claiming he had been the victim of sexual harassment.

Finn cited an incident that took place in 2019 with factory supervisor Jamie King, claiming that King’s remarks about his appearance ‘crossed the line'.

Finn and King’s entanglement almost broke into violence and during their run-in, King, who is nearly 30 years younger than Finn, called him a ‘bald c**t’.

The court heard that Finn ‘feared for his personal safety after the incident and wasn’t a fan of having his personal appearance slated. 

Lead judge Jonathan Brain then decided that King’s comments weren’t just insulting, but harassment. 

The tribunal found in summary: “We have little doubt that being referred to in this pejorative manner was unwanted conduct as far as [Mr Finn] was concerned.

"This is strong language. Mr King crossed the line by making remarks personal to the claimant about his appearance.

"In our judgment, there is a connection between the word 'bald' on the one hand and the protected characteristic of sex on the other. We find it to be inherently related to sex.”

The court’s ruling also pointed to an older case in which a man was taken to tribunal for commenting on the size of a female colleague's breasts. 

"It is much more likely that a person on the receiving end of a comment such as that which was made in [that] case would be female," the tribunal said.

"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.”

"The tribunal, therefore, determines that by referring to the claimant as a 'bald c**t', Mr King's conduct was a violation of the claimant's dignity, it created an intimidating environment for him, it was done for that purpose, and it related to the claimant's sex."

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