Calling a man bald can now be classified as sexual harassment, a UK labor court judge has ruled.
Three members of the tribunal, who ruled on the verdict and alluded to their own experiences with hair loss, said that balding is more common in men than in women. Therefore, they argued that using the word “bald” as an insult affected a “protected characteristic of gender”.
The tribunal compared labeling a bald man to commenting on the size of a woman’s breasts, based on a 1995 case.
The verdict, released on Wednesday, came in a case where the slur was allegedly used against Tony Finn while he was working as an electrician for the British Bung Manufacturing Company.
Finn had worked for almost 24 years at the company in Yorkshire, north east England, which makes wooden keg closures for the brewing industry. He was fired last year and the circumstances surrounding his dismissal were also part of the case.
Finn claimed he was labeled a “bald man” and threatened by his shift supervisor, Jamie King, in an argument in July 2019.
The court found that the use of this insult constituted an “infringement against that of the plaintiff.” [Finn] would, it created an intimidating…environment for him, it was made for that purpose and it related to the gender of the applicant.
The members of the tribunal also suggested that the use of profanity was not at issue, as Finn was found to use such expressions in the workplace: “Although, as we note, industrial language was commonplace on this West Yorkshire factory floor, in our opinion According to him, Mr. King crossed the line by making personal remarks about his appearance to the plaintiff.”
Finn is expected to receive compensation for the tribunal’s verdict, although the amount has not yet been determined.
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