Calling a man bald is a form of sexual harassment, a British court has ruled.
The Telegraph reports that the three-judge bench observed that hair loss is much more prevalent among men than women, hence using it to describe someone is a form of discrimination comparable to commenting on the size of a woman's breast.
The judges made the ruling in a case involving seasoned electrician Tony Finn and British manufacturing company Bung where he worked for 24 years until he was fired in May last year over what he termed as a case of sexual harassment.
Finn argued that one of the supervisors identified as Jamie King 'crossed the line' by referring to him as bald during an incident that saw the electrician lose his job. The electrician filed a case before a tribunal to determine whether the baldness remark was actually an insult or a form of harassment.
"We have little doubt that being referred to in this pejorative manner was unwanted conduct as far as [Finn] was concerned. This is strong language. In our judgment, King crossed the line by making remarks personal to the claimant about his appearance," the tribunal ruled as quoted by The Telegraph.
"It is difficult to conclude other than that King uttered those words with the purpose of violating [Finn's] dignity and creating an intimidating hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him."
The judges cited a past case in which a man was charged with sexual assault after being found guilty of commenting on the size of a woman's breast.
"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. So too, it is much more likely that a person on the receiving end of a remark such as that made by Mr. King would be male," the tribunal added.
The tribunal further ordered that Finn be compensated for wrongful and unfair dismissal and sexual harassment. His compensation will be determined at a later date.