"Bald" insult is sexual harassment, UK tribunal says

Will this catch on in the States?

A tribunal in the United Kingdom has reportedly ruled that insulting a man for being bald is sexual harassment.


According to news reports, the tribunal was made up of three bald men. (Should they have recused themselves?)

Electrician Tony Finn alleged that, during an argument with his (male) supervisor in 2019, the supervisor called him a "bald c*nt." Apparently, the supervisor admitted saying it. Mr. Finn did not take the easy way out and contend that being called an obscene term for an intimate part of the female anatomy was sexual harassment. No! He contended that being insulted for being bald was sexual harassment, and the tribunal agreed.

The tribunal was quoted as saying, "In our judgment, there is a connection between the word 'bald' on the one hand and the protected characteristic of sex on the other."

The company argued that women can be bald, too, but the tribunal noted that "baldness is much more prevalent in men than women. We find it to be inherently related to sex." In fact, busting on a guy for being bald was the equivalent of commenting about the size of a woman's breasts, the tribunal said.

I don't buy that, but no one asked for my opinion.

Calling Mr. Finn a "bald c*nt" "was a violation of the claimant's dignity, it created an intimidating environment for him, it was done for that purpose, and it was related to the claimant's sex."

Mr. Finn also lost his job. His damage award will be decided later.

Coming soon to a courtroom in the United States? I wouldn't be a bit surprised.


It's been a slow news week. I apologize for this post. I'll try to do better next time.

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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