A panel of three male judges have found the word, ‘bald’, to be “inherently related to sex”.
The decision comes during a recent controversial court case which saw a man claim he was a victim of sex-related harassment within his workplace.
The man in question, Tony Finn, was seeking compensation for alleged remarks made by a factory supervisor by the name of Jaime King. According to The Guardian, Finn – who is in line for compensation – had worked for the West Yorkshire-based British Bung Company for almost 24 years when he was fired in May last year.”
As a result of the alleged incidents suffered by the claimant, Finn took the company to a tribunal hearing to have his claims heard. Finn alleged that King called him a “bald c#*t” during an argument in July, 2019, leaving the court to rule whether the alleged interaction was considered harassment or merely an insulting remark.
The tribunal ruled that King had “crossed the line by making remarks personal to the claimant about his appearance” despite them finding that the “industrial language was commonplace on this West Yorkshire factory floor”.
The tribunal admitted it was “difficult to conclude other than that Mr King uttered those words with the purpose of violating [Finn’s] dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him” revealing the perpetrator had himself admitted to insulting the claimant.
“Of his own admission, Mr King’s intention was to threaten [Finn] and to insult him. 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 tribunal said, before officially ruling they deemed the remark to constitute sex-related harassment.
“The tribunal therefore determines that by referring to the claimant as a ‘bald cunt’ … Mr King’s conduct was unwanted, it was a violation of the claimant’s dignity, it created an intimidating environment for him, it was done for that purpose, and it related to the claimant’s sex.
“We find it to be inherently related to sex.”
Throughout the trial, the tribunal discussed previous cases of similar nature, with a particular focus on female-related incidents of sex-related harassment in the workplace for comparison.
As revealed by The Guardian, “the panel raised a previous tribunal case where a man was found to have sexually discriminated against a woman by remarking on the size of her breasts to rebut the firm’s point”.
The amount for Finn’s compensation has not yet been determined.