Calling a man ‘bald’ is sexual harassment, employment tribunal rules | Sexual harassment

Calling a man ‘bald’ is sexual harassment, employment tribunal rules | Sexual harassment

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Calling a person “bald” is sexual harassment, an employment tribunal has dominated.

Hair loss is rather more prevalent amongst males than girls so utilizing it to explain somebody is a type of discrimination, a decide has concluded. Commenting on a person’s baldness within the office is equal to remarking on the dimensions of a girl’s breasts, the discovering suggests.

The ruling – made by a panel of three males who in making their judgment bemoaned their very own lack of hair – is available in a case between a veteran electrician and the manufacturing agency the place he was employed.

Tony Finn – who’s in line for compensation – had labored for the West Yorkshire-based British Bung Firm for nearly 24 years when he was fired in Might final yr. He took the corporate to the tribunal claiming, amongst different issues, he had been the sufferer of sexual harassment after an incident with the manufacturing facility supervisor, Jamie King.

Finn alleged that in a shopfloor row in July 2019, King had referred to him as a “bald cunt”. The tribunal heard Finn was much less upset by the “Anglo-Saxon” language than the touch upon his look.

The allegation resulted within the panel – led by Decide Jonathan Mind – deliberating on whether or not remarking on his baldness was merely insulting or really harassment.

“We’ve little doubt that being referred to on this pejorative method was undesirable conduct so far as [Finn] was involved,” the tribunal discovered. “That is sturdy language. Though, as we discover, industrial language was commonplace on this West Yorkshire manufacturing facility ground, in our judgment Mr King crossed the road by making remarks private to the claimant about his look.”

Finn had not complained about using “industrial language” however was significantly affronted at being referred to as bald, the panel mentioned.

“It’s troublesome to conclude aside from that Mr King uttered these phrases with the aim of violating [Finn’s] dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive surroundings for him,” the judgment discovered. “Of his personal admission, Mr King’s intention was to threaten [Finn] and to insult him. In our judgment, there’s a connection between the phrase ‘bald’ on the one hand and the protected attribute of intercourse on the opposite.

“[The company’s lawyer] was proper to submit that ladies in addition to males could also be bald. Nonetheless, as all three members of the tribunal will vouchsafe, baldness is rather more prevalent in males than girls.

“We discover it to be inherently associated to intercourse.”

As a part of its ruling, the panel raised a earlier tribunal case the place a person was discovered to have sexually harassed a girl by remarking on the dimensions of her breasts to rebut the agency’s level. “It’s more likely that an individual on the receiving finish of a remark reminiscent of that which was made in [that] case can be feminine,” the tribunal mentioned.

“So too, it’s more likely that an individual on the receiving finish of a comment reminiscent of that made by Mr King can be male. Mr King made the comment with a view to hurting the claimant by commenting on his look which is usually discovered amongst males.

“The tribunal due to this fact determines that by referring to the claimant as a ‘bald cunt’ … Mr King’s conduct was undesirable, it was a violation of the claimant’s dignity, it created an intimidating surroundings for him, it was accomplished for that function, and it associated to the claimant’s intercourse.”

Finn’s compensation shall be decided at a later date.

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