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Judges Rule Calling Men Bald Is “Se(x)ual Harassment”


Judges Rule Calling Men Bald Is “Se(x)ual Harassment”

It’s considered the same as remarking on the size of a woman’s breasts.

Three judges in Sheffield have ruled that calling a man bald is sexual harassment. Each of them overseeing the North Yorkshire tribunal suffers from hair loss and has pointed out that baldness is more prevalent among men than women, making it a form of prejudice. 

The panel concluded using the word bald to describe someone is a form of discrimination and suggested it’s the same as remarking on the size of a woman’s breasts.

Paul Szewczyk [not the actual image]

The ruling was decided amid a case brought forward by electrician Tony Finn, who was fired from the British Bung Company in May 2021 after almost 24 years. He had been called a bald c*** by the factory supervisor Jamie King and so he took the company to the tribunal claiming, among other things, he had been the victim of s*x harassment. 

Mr. Tony cited an incident in 2019 with factory supervisor King, claiming his remarks about his appearance crossed the line. 

King and Tony’s entanglement had almost broken into violence and amid their run-in, King, nearly 30 years younger than Tony, called him a bald c**t. After the heated exchange, the tribunal heard that Tony feared for his safety and wasn’t a fan of having his appearance insulted. The allegation resulted in the panel, led by Judge Jonathan Brian, deliberating whether remarking on his baldness was simply insulting or harassment.

The panel stated: “In our judgment, there is a connection between the word bald on the one hand and the protected characteristic of s*x on the other.”

Jeremy McGilvrey [not the actual image]

“(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 s*x.” The panel also pointed to an older case in which a man was taken to tribunal for commenting on the size of a female colleague’s breasts.

They added: “It’s 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. 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. The tribunal therefore determines that by referring to the claimant as a bald c**T, Mr. King’s conduct 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 s*x.”

So far, Mr. Tony has won claims of unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, being subjected to detriments, and s*x harassment. 

unsplash [not the actual image]

However, he lost an additional claim for age discrimination after the tribunal ruled that Mr. King had not called him old but simply a bald c***. Mr. Tony’s compensation will be determined later, and any payout will be reduced as the tribunal ruled he had contributed to his dismissal through his conduct. With upholding the harassment claim, the tribunal ruled the company had indeed dismissed Tony unfairly and should have waited to hear from police after complaining of his son’s involvement. 

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