Calling a man 'bald' is sexual harassment, Court rules
Since hair loss is more common among men than women, the three-judge bench opined that calling a man bald in the workplace is a form of discrimination comparable to commenting on the size of a woman's breast.
The judges made the ruling in a case involving a seasoned electrician, Tony Finn, and British manufacturing firm Bung.
Finn had been working at the manufacturer for 24 years when he was fired in May last year over what he terms as a case of sexual harassment. Finn claims that one of the manufacturer's supervisors, Jamie King, 'crossed the line' by making unnecessary comments about his appearance.
King is said to have referred to Finn as bald during the incident which saw the electrician lose his job. Finn presented the case before the tribunal which then determined whether the baldness remark was actually an insult or a form of harassment.
"We have little doubt that being referred to in this pejorative manner was unwanted conduct as far as [Finn] was concerned. This is strong language. In our judgment King crossed the line by making remarks personal to the claimant about his appearance," the tribunal found according to the Telegraph.
"It is difficult to conclude other than that King uttered those words with the purpose of violating [Finn's] dignity and creating an intimidating hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him."
To further put its point across, the panel referred to a previous sexual assault case in which a man was charged with sexual assault after being found guilty of commenting on the size of a woman's breast.
"It is 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," said the Tribunal.
Following the decree, Finn will now be compensated for wrongful and unfair dismissal and sexual harassment. He however lost an additional claim for age discrimination after the bench ruled that King did not refer to him once using his age. Finn's compensation will be determined on a later date.
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