Calling a Man ‘Bald’ is Sexual Harassment

By Gary Smith


In a first an Employment Tribunal has found that insulting a man by calling him ‘bald’ amounts to sexual harassment because men are more likely to lose their hair than women.  In their finding the Tribunal (a panel of three male balding judges) equated the insults as equivalent to remarking on the size of a woman’s breasts.

In his case against British Bung Company, the Claimant Mr Finn described being referred to by his factory supervisor as a “bald c***”.  The 64 year old explained that he was less offended by the ‘Anglo Saxon language’ than by being called bald. After he was subsequently sacked, Mr Finn brought his claim before the Employment Tribunal which has now been successful. 

The Tribunal explained that ‘As all three members of the Tribunal will vouchsafe, baldness is much more prevalent in men than women. We find it [baldness] to be inherently related to sex.’ To help explain their point the panel referred to previous cases where a man was found to have sexually harassed a woman by remarking on the size of her breasts.  They comments ‘It is much more likely that a person on the receiving end of a comment such as that made by the supervisor would be male.’

The Tribunal concluded that the insult was unwanted and was a violation of Mr Finn’s dignity, creating an intimidating environment for him related to his sex.

This case is a timely reminder of the need for employers to ensure that managers and supervisors are aware of the potential implication of sexually harassing men as well as women.  All employers should be giving training to their staff to help avoid this sort of circumstance arising.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this case please do contact our Employment Team on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be in touch.