Calling a male colleague bald isn’t harmless banter but sexual harassment.
That’s the conclusion of a British employment tribunal who ruled that using the word could be “inherently related to sex” and amount to a form of discrimination.
The decision came in the case of electrician Tony Finn, who sued a small Yorkshire-based family business, where he’d worked for nearly 24 years, for unfair dismissal and sexual harassment. He accused a colleague of calling him a “fat bald (expletive.)”
The all-male, three member tribunal panel agreed that Finn didn’t complain about the “industrial language” of the shop floor but the epithets relating to his age and hair.
“It is difficult to conclude other than that” those words were spoken “with the purpose of violating the claimant’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him,” the judgment said.
Finn also succeeded in his claim for unfair dismissal.