A British employment tribunal ruled that calling a man bald equates to sexual harassment—no different than commenting on a woman’s physical characteristics.
Baldness was at the center of a claim from Tony Finn, an electrician who worked for his company for more than two decades before being fired last year, reported the Guardian.
Finn said he got into an argument with a supervisor at the British Bung Company (not making that one up—they’re a “UK based manufacturer of traditional wooden cask closures for the brewing industry”) when the supervisor called him a “bald c***” in 2019.
Finn told the tribunal he didn’t appreciate the comment on his appearance, which upset him more than the colorful language the supervisor employed.
In examining the case, the tribunal, which included three judges, concluded that calling Finn bald violated his dignity and created an intimidating work environment.
More importantly, the tribunal said baldness was a protected characteristic of sex. The judges acknowledged that women may also be bald—but said baldness itself is much more common among men. As a result, the supervisor’s remark amounted to discrimination and sexual harassment.
The tribunal likened calling Finn bald to a previous case in which a man harassed a woman by remarking on the size of her breasts.
Finn had claimed the comment violated the Equality Act of 2010 because it targeted him based on a specific gender characteristic.
Compensation will be decided at a later date, the Guardian reported.