Calling men bald at the workplace amounts to sexual harassment, a panel of balding judges ruled on Thursday.
The panel believes hair loss is more common in men than women hence commenting on the baldness of men is tantamount to sexual harassment of women by commenting on their size of breasts. The finding was made by three judges who lament their lack of hair. The subject was raised after a veteran electrician filed a complaint against a manufacturing firm where he was employed.
Tony Finn had worked for the West Yorkshire-based British Bung Company for almost 24 years. He was fired in May last year. Finn took his complaint to the employment tribunal. Among other complaints- he mentioned that he has been a victim of sexual harassment in an encounter with factory supervisor, Jamie King.
Finn accused that King had referred to him as a ‘bald cunt’ in a shop floor row that could have led to the violence in 2019. The tribunal noted that he was more upset about a comment on his appearance.
View this post on Instagram
“We have little doubt that being referred to in this pejorative manner was unwanted conduct as far as [Finn] was concerned,” the tribunal found. “This is strong language. Although, as we find, industrial language was commonplace on this West Yorkshire factory floor, in our judgment Mr. King crossed the line by making remarks personal to the claimant about his appearance.”
The tribunal said that Finn did not complain about the ‘industrial language’.
“It is difficult to conclude other than that Mr. King uttered those words to violate [Finn’s] dignity and create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him,” the judgment found. “Of his admission, Mr. King intended to threaten [Finn] and to insult him. 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 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,” the panel remarked in its judgment.
Finn will be compensated as well.