Calling a man 'bald' at work is sexual harassment, UK judge rules

A former employee sued his supervisor for using the word to insult him



By Web Desk

Published: Fri 13 May 2022, 12:22 PM

Calling a man 'bald' at the workplace amounts to sexual harassment, a judge in the UK has ruled.

Since hair loss is more common among men than women, using the term is 'inherently related' to gender, said the employment tribunal, according to the UK Telegraph.

The finding came after an electrician, Tony Finn, sued a small, Yorkshire-based family business for using the term to insult him. One of Finn's supervisors, Jamie King, allegedly called him 'fat' and 'bald' and fired him.

The accusation prompted a panel of three judges to deliberate whether the comment was insulting or qualified as harassment.

“In our judgement, there is a connection between the word ‘bald’ on the one hand and the protected characteristic of sex on the other,” the tribunal was quoted as saying. “We find it to be inherently related to sex.”

The judges further noted that men are more likely to be "on the receiving end" of such a remark, as baldness is more prevalent among males.

“This is strong language... In our judgement, Mr King crossed the line by making remarks personal to the claimant about his appearance," the tribunal said.

However, the judge said it was difficult to conclude whether the supervisor intended to create "an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment" for Finn, the employee.

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The court ruled that the company had dismissed Finn unfairly, and his financial compensation will be determined at a later date.


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