August 19, 2022

The panel compared commenting on a man’s baldness to making a remark about a woman’s breasts

An employment tribunal has ruled that calling a man “bald” is a form of sexual harassment because hair loss is “inherently related to sex.”

The tribunal was ruling on the case of an employee who had complained about being called a “bald c**t.”

Tony Finn had worked for the West Yorkshire-based British Bung Company for almost 24 years when he was fired in May last year.

He took the company to tribunal claiming, among other things, that he had been the victim of sexual harassment following an incident with his factory supervisor.

Finn alleged that during an argument with his supervisor Jamie King in July 2019, which almost became violent, King had called him a “bald c**t” and threatened to “deck” him.

The ruling was made by a panel of three men, led by Judge Jonathan Brain, who all suffered from hair loss themselves, the Mail Online reports.

They ruled that hair loss is much more prevalent among men than women so using it to describe someone is a form of discrimination and compared calling a man “bald” to commenting on a woman’s breasts.

Finn had apparently been more upset by the use of the term “bald” than he was the other abuse directed at him.

The panel deliberated whether commenting on someone’s baldness was simply insulting or a form of harassment.

They ruled: “In our judgment, there is a connection between the word ”bald’ on the one hand and the protected characteristic of ‘sex’ on the other.

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“(The company’s lawyer) was right to submit that women as well as men may be bald. However, as all three members of the Tribunal will vouchsafe, baldness is much more prevalent in men than women.

“We find it to be inherently related to sex.”

The panel mentioned a previous case where a man was found to have sexually harassed a woman by remarking on the size of her 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.

“Mr King made the remark with a view to hurting the claimant by commenting on his appearance which is often found amongst men.

“The Tribunal therefore determines that by referring to the claimant as a ‘bald c***’, Mr King’s conduct was unwanted, it 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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