Calling a colleague 'bald' is now a form of harassment (in the UK at least)

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Sara-Jayne King

40 days ago
Calling a colleague 'bald' is now a form of harassment (in the UK at least)

  • British electrician Tony Finn sued his former employers after his supervisor referred to him as a 'bald c###'

  • An employment tribunal judge has ruled that the comment amounted to sexual harassment



A British employment tribunal has ruled that commenting on a man's baldness is sexual harassment, equivalent to commenting on the size a woman's breasts.

Electrician Tony Finn sued his former employers after his supervisor referred to him as a 'bald c###'.

The tribunal judge ruled that by calling Finn bald, the defendant had violated his dignity and created 'a hostile, degrading and humiliating environment for him'.

Employment lawyer Jacqui Reed joined CapeTalk's Clarence Ford to unpack the ruling.

The nub of the issue seems to be that baldness is associated with men and the way the victim was referred to was problematic from a bullying/harassment perspective.

Jacqui Reed, Employment Lawyer, Herbert Smith Freehills Global Law Firm

Because, he used the word 'bald' specifically, which identifies more particularly with men, then they're saying harassment is related to gender.

Jacqui Reed, Employment Lawyer, Herbert Smith Freehills Global Law Firm

It's not sexual harassment in the way we understand it, but it equates to a form of harassment, which relates to the employee's gender.

Jacqui Reed, Employment Lawyer, Herbert Smith Freehills Global Law Firm

In South African law, harassment is a form of discrimination, whether it be sexual harassment or otherwise.

Jacqui Reed, Employment Lawyer, Herbert Smith Freehills Global Law Firm

Finn won both his claim for unfair dismissal, and his sexual harassment claim and is now legally entitled to compensation.

RELATED: Bald man decapitated in Mozambique over belief head contained gold

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Calling a colleague 'bald' is now a form of harassment (in the UK at least)

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