Calling someone bald deemed 'sexual harassment'

·2-min read

Simply calling a man "bald" can now be considered sexual harassment, a tribunal ruled after one man was called a "bald c***" at work.

The arguments were heard at the Employment Tribunal in the UK, after 64-year-old Tony Finn and his factory supervisor, Jamie King, got into an altercation in July 2019.

Mr Finn said he was working on a machine that was awaiting repairs and the altercation happened when he brought up an issue with Mr King.

In Mr Finn's witness statement, he alleged Mr King called him a "bald c***" and said he threatened to "deck" him.

In the UK, a man was called a
In the UK, a man was called a "bald c**t" by another employee and now calling someone bald is considered sexual harassment. Source: Getty Images, file

Mr Finn was "fearful" for his safety and he retreated to an office. Mr King continued to threaten Mr Finn through the office door and the abuse was witnessed by another supervisor.

The decision found Mr King's comments were "unwelcome and uninvited and therefore was unwanted".

Eventually, Mr Finn was fired and that's how the case ended up in front of the tribunal.

"It is difficult to conclude other than that Mr King uttered those words with the purpose of violating the claimant’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him," the decision says.

The judge on the case, Jonathan Brain, said while women can also go bald, baldness is more prevalent in men, therefore the comment is inherently related to sex.

The decision drew comparisons between remarks made about women's breasts and referring to a man as "bald".

"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 decision says.

As the judges ruled in Mr Finn's favour he will be compensated for losing his job and now, calling someone bald is considered to be sexual harassment.

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