The case takes place in England and is reported by the famous newspaper The Guardian. After 24 years in his company, an electrician is made redundant. The man files a complaint against his former employer, whom he accuses of having insulted him as a “bald asshole” during a heated exchange while he was still in office.
The complainant asserts that the remark made in reference to his baldness touched him deeply. This intentionally hurtful attack was intended to embarrass and demean him. Much more than the insult that accompanied it, the qualifier “bald” tipped the scales in favor of the plaintiff. The judges were convinced and found that there was discrimination against the employee.
“It is hard not to consider that the complainant’s supervisor said these words with the intention of undermining his dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him,” they said.
From baldness to harassment
Since male pattern baldness is more common, they concluded that the employer’s discriminating comment was logically related to the employee’s gender. As a reminder, comments on a person’s physical appearance or private life are also considered sexual harassment.
But that’s not all. The judges went further by considering that the fact of receiving remarks about your baldness when you are a man is comparable to the comments received by women about the size of their breasts. The judges therefore denounced sexual harassment because the employer’s behavior was considered a verbal assault. According to the newspaper, the electrician should finally obtain damages.
Mockery, threats, rumours, isolation… These harassment techniques are unfortunately common in the professional environment. They are a source of stress for the victims and can go as far as causing metabolic and behavioral disorders. Serious consequences that require professional help.
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