CAUTIONARY TALE EPISODE 58 DON’T MESS WITH THE HAIRLESS « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Commenting on Baldness = Sexual Harassment

Bald men – at least in the United Kingdom – can seek recourse against unwelcome workplace jokes or taunts about their follicly-challenged appearance.

The claimant asserted that his supervisor at The British Bung Company, a wooden cask closures manufacturer, called him a “bald c*nt.”  Although he claimed no issue with the expletive, the worker did not appreciate the comment on his appearance.

Linking baldness to gender (male), the court held the remark crossed the line, creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment.

Writing for the three-judge panel, Judge Brain likened such unwanted remarks on male appearance to comments on the size of a woman’s breasts. “There is a connection between the word “bald” on the one hand and the protected characteristic of sex on the other… [A]s all three members of the Tribunal will vouchsafe, baldness is much more prevalent in men than women.  We find it to be inherently related to sex. (In contrast, we accept that baldness affects [predominantly] adult males of all ages so is inherently not a characteristic of age).”

Under California and federal law, sexual harassment is a form of unlawful workplace discrimination, singling out individuals due to gender.  Unwelcome and inappropriate conduct is illegal whether aimed at men, women, or individuals of the opposite or same sex.  The harassment does not require proof of sexual desire.


  • All workers, especially supervisors, should avoid making gratuitous, insulting or offensive comments on anyone’s personal appearance.
  • Regardless of the validity of any sexual harassment claim, the employer’s response must comply with applicable anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws.  If not, the company further jeopardizes its legal position.
  • California law also makes it unlawful to fail to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment.
  • Anti-harassment training and zero tolerance policies are also essential to ward off and eradicate inappropriate workplace conduct. Every two years, employers with five or more on payroll have to provide at least two hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all California employees. Contact us for more information, pricing or to schedule your workforce training at (626) 583-6600 or

For further information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

See also:

Cindy Bamforth
May 26, 2022

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