Bald Sexual Harassment

A UK tribunal found calling a man bald is sexual harassment. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

A British electrician sued his company for sexual harassment because, according to his complaint, his supervisor called him “bald.” The tribunal agreed with him, saying since baldness is more prevalent in men than women, it was akin to commenting on the size of a woman’s breasts. Um, no it isn’t. It’s hurtful, but it’s not sexual, which is kind of an important concept in the way US law determines whether there’s been sexual harassment. 

In the US, there are two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo, in which a supervisor makes sexual demands a condition of the job, and hostile work environment, in which the workplace is so permeated with sexual jokes, gestures, touching, and the like, it unreasonably interferes with someone’s ability to perform the job. Hair loss may be sensitive, but it isn’t sexual.

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