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Montevideo, May 22nd 2022 - 08:04 UTC

 

 

Bald man wins sexual harassment lawsuit in UK

Saturday, May 14th 2022 - 07:43 UTC
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The claimant's supervisor crossed the line by making remarks about the worker's appearance (Pic IStock) The claimant's supervisor crossed the line by making remarks about the worker's appearance (Pic IStock)

A British labor court has ruled that calling a man “bald” was tantamount to commenting on the size of a woman's breasts and therefore it constituted sexual harassment.

 Judge Jonathan Brain, one of the magistrates making the decision which was reportedly based on case law dating back to 1995, said he believed the comment was made as a form of intimidation. “It is much more likely that a person on the receiving end of a comment such as that which was made in [that] case would be female,” Brain said.

The magistrate found that plaintiff Tony Finn, an electrician at British Bung Manufacturing, had his dignity violated because the epithet “created an intimidating environment for him, it was done for that purpose, and it related to the claimant's sex.” Finn was eventually fired in 2019.

”So too, it is much more likely that a person on the receiving end of a remark such as that made by Mr. King (Finn's supervisor) would be male,” the judge also pointed out.

Finn won claims of unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal along with sexual harassment, although the court did not agree on his age discrimination allegations. Compensation will be determined at a later date, it was reported.

Three members of the tribunal who decided on the ruling, and alluded to their own experience of hair loss, said baldness was more prevalent in men than in women and hence the use of the word “bald” was an insult related to a “protected characteristic of sex.”

Finn had worked for the company, which manufactures wooden cask closures for the brewing industry, in Yorkshire in the northeast of England, for nearly 24 years. The circumstances around his dismissal were also part of the case. He was called a “bald c---” and was also threatened by his shift supervisor, Jamie King, in a dispute in July 2019.

The court also agreed it was not the use of profanities that was the issue, with Finn also having been found to use such language in the workplace: “Although, as we find, industrial language was commonplace on this West Yorkshire factory floor, in our judgment Mr. King crossed the line by making remarks personal to the claimant about his appearance.”

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