Calling men “bald” at work is now considered sexual harassment in the UK

Calling men “bald” at work is now considered sexual harassment in the UK

Insulting a man for being bald at work is tantamount to sexual harassment in Britain, a panel of balding judges ruled, according to a report Thursday.

Hair loss is far more common in men than women, so use of the term is “inherently linked to gender” – and synonymous with saying the size of a woman’s breasts, the Labor Court said, according to the UK Telegraph.

The finding – made by three judges who bemoaned their own lack of locks in judgment – came in the case of an electrician, Tony Finn, who sued a small family business based in Yorkshire during the tenure.

Things first got hairy when one of Finn’s bosses, Jamie King, allegedly called him a “fat bald guy” and he was later fired from West Yorkshire-based British Bung, which the outlet says makes wooden keg stoppers.

The allegation led the panel, led by Judge Jonathan Brain, to consider whether King’s baldness bash was just offensive – or escalated to the level of harassment.

“In our estimation, there is a connection between the word ‘bald’ on the one hand and the protected sexual characteristic on the other,” the court said. “We think it’s inherently related to sex.”

Bald man and woman with hair sitting behind laptop.
The judges ruled that the term “bald” was “inherently associated with sex” and likened the use of the term to commenting on a woman’s breasts.
Getty Images

The ruling found that the company’s attorney “correctly asserted that both women and men can be bald” but claimed that “baldness is much more common in men than in women.”

“It’s also a lot more likely that a person who receives a comment like Mr. King’s is male,” she added.

The finding also stated that criticizing Finn for his hairless head was “demeaning” and “humiliating.”

“It’s strong language. Although, we note, industry language was commonplace in this West Yorkshire factory, we believe Mr King crossed the line by making personal remarks to the plaintiff about his appearance.”

“It is difficult to conclude anything other than that Mr. King said those words with the intent to offend [Mr. Finn’s] dignity and the creation of an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him,” it said. “By his own admission, Mr. King wanted to make threats [Mr. Finn] and insult him.”

In addition to upholding Finn’s sexual harassment lawsuit, the court ruled that the company had wrongly fired him after 24 years on the job.

Finn’s monetary compensation will be determined at a later date.

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