Classifying a man as bald in the workplace is tantamount to sexual harassment in the UK, a labor court ruled on Thursday.
“Hair loss is much more common in men than in women, so the use of the term is ‘inherently gender-related’ – and corresponds to commentary of female breast size“, The labor court reported, according to the Telegraph.
The finding – which, perhaps coincidentally, was made by three hairless judges – came in the case of an electrician, Tony Finn, who sued a small family business based in Yorkshire.
One of Finn’s supervisors, Jamie King, allegedly called him a “fat bald man,” and the plaintiff was later fired by the British West Yorkshire-based Bung, which makes wooden barrels.
The indictment led the panel, led by Judge Jonathan Brain, to consider whether King’s alopecia were simply offensive – or upgraded at the level of harassment.
“In our judgment, there is a link between the word ‘bald’ on the one hand and the protected gender characteristic on the other,” the court said. “We find that it is inherently related to gender.”
The decision states that the company’s lawyer “was right to argue that women as well as men can be bald”, but argued that “alopecia is much more common in men than women”. “So it is much more likely that a person who accepts an observation like that of King is a man,” the ruling added. The judges also consider that Finn was criticized for his hairless head “Derogatory” and “humiliating”. “In our judgment, Mr King exceeded the limits by making personal remarks to the plaintiff concerning his appearance,” it said.
“It is difficult to reach any conclusion other than that Mr. King said these words in order to violate Finn’s dignity and to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, degrading or offensive environment for him,” it said. “In his view, King’s intention was to threaten [τον κ. Φιν] and insult him “.
In addition to acquitting Finn of sexual harassment, the court ruled that the company had fired him unjustly after 24 years of service. Finn’s compensation will be determined at a later date.