Calling a man bald counts as sexual harassment, UK judge rules

A UK labor court argued that using the word “bald” as an insult was linked to a “protected quality of sex”.

Michelle Gibson | E+ | Getty Images

Calling a man bald can now be classified as sexual harassment, a British labor court has ruled.

Three members of the tribunal who decided on the verdict, alluding to their own experience with hair loss, said that baldness was more common in men than in women. Therefore, they argued that using the word “bald” as an insult was related to a “protected quality of sex.”

The tribunal compared calling a man bald to comments about a woman’s breast size, based on a 1995 case.

The ruling, published Wednesday, was made in a case in which the insult was allegedly used against Tony Finn while he worked as an electrician for Britain’s Bung Manufacturing Company.

Finn spent almost 24 years with the brewery wooden closures company in Yorkshire in the North East of England. He was fired last year and the circumstances surrounding his dismissal also played a part.

Finn claimed he was called a “bald c—” and was also threatened by his shift chief, Jamie King, in a dispute in July 2019.

The tribunal ruled that using this insult was a “violation against the plaintiff”. [Finn] dignity, it created an intimidating … environment for him, it was done for that purpose, and it pertained to the sex of the plaintiff.”

The tribunal members also suggested it wasn’t the use of profanity that was the problem, as Finn was found to use such language in the workplace as well: “Although, as we see, industrial language was commonplace on this factory floor in West Yorkshire, In our view, Mr. King crossed the line by making personal comments to the plaintiff about his appearance.”

Finn will receive compensation following the tribunal’s ruling, although the amount has not yet been determined.

Checking out: Spain reportedly offers three days of menstrual leave every month

Leave a Comment