Calling a man bald can now be classed as sexual harassment, a U.K. employment tribunal judge has ruled.
Three members of the tribunal who decided on the ruling, and alluded to their own experience of hair loss, said that baldness was more prevalent in men than women. Therefore, they argued that the use of the word “bald” as an insult related to a “protected characteristic of sex.”
The tribunal compared calling a man bald to commenting on the size of woman’s breasts, based on a 1995 case.
The tribunal accepted that the lawyer appearing on behalf of the company, British Bung Manufacturing Company Limited, 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 sex,” the judgment notes.
Tony Finn – who is in line for compensation – had worked for the West Yorkshire-based British Bung Company for almost 24 years when he was fired in May last year. He took the company to the tribunal claiming, among other things, he had been the victim of sexual harassment after an incident with the factory supervisor, Jamie King.
The case was heard at Sheffield in northern England over February and April this year.