Dealing with Being Called Baldy in the Workplace

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Dealing with Being Called Baldy in the Workplace

Experiencing derogatory and offensive language in the workplace can create a hostile environment and negatively impact your well-being and professional experience. For example, suppose you are being called Baldy in the workplace by colleagues or superiors. In that case, it is essential to address this harassment promptly and assertively. This article will discuss the steps you can take to address the issue and promote a respectful and inclusive workplace.

Understanding Harassment

Harassment based on physical appearances, such as being called derogatory names like “Baldy,” is a form of workplace discrimination and is not acceptable under UK employment law. However, it is crucial to recognise that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace, regardless of physical characteristics.

Steps to Address the Issue

Step 1. Document the Incidents.

Keep a record of every instance you are called “Baldy”. Note the date, time, location, the individuals involved, and any witnesses present. A documented record will be valuable evidence if you escalate the matter.

Step 2. Confront the Offender.

If you feel comfortable doing so, address the individual directly and inform them that their use of the term “Baldy” is offensive and disrespectful. Clearly express your expectation that such language should cease immediately.

Step 3. Report to Your Manager or Supervisor.

If confronting the offender does not resolve the issue, or if you feel uncomfortable doing so, report the incidents to your immediate supervisor or manager. Please provide them with documented evidence and explain the impact that the harassment is having on your well-being and work environment.

Step 4. Follow Company Policies.

Familiarise yourself with your company’s policies on harassment and follow the appropriate procedures for reporting incidents. Company policies may involve submitting a formal complaint or completing any required documentation.

Step 5. Seek Support from Colleagues.

Talk to trusted colleagues or friends within the workplace who can provide support and act as witnesses to the incidents. Their testimony can be valuable if further action is necessary.

Step 6. Consult HR or a Designated Contact.

If the issue persists or your manager does not take appropriate action, escalate the matter to your Human Resources (HR) department or the designated contact for handling workplace harassment complaints. Please provide them with a detailed account of the incidents and any evidence you have collected.

Step 7. Contact an Employment Law Solicitor

Suppose internal procedures do not lead to a satisfactory resolution. In that case, you may consult an employment law solicitor specialising in harassment and discrimination cases. They can provide legal advice, assess the strength of your case, and guide you through the next steps, which may include filing a formal complaint or pursuing legal action.

Maintaining Your Well-being

Dealing with workplace harassment can be emotionally challenging. Remember to prioritise your well-being by seeking support from friends, family, or professional counsellors. 

In addition, taking care of yourself throughout the process and engaging in self-care activities that promote resilience and mental well-being is important.

Recent Employment Tribunal Rulings

In a recent ruling, the employment tribunal determined that repeatedly referring a male colleague as “bald” constituted sexual harassment.

The ruling emphasised that such comments were unwelcome and created an offensive and hostile environment for the individual. 

The tribunal recognised that sexual harassment can affect individuals regardless of their gender and that derogatory comments about physical appearance can be considered a form of harassment.

This ruling underscores the significance of maintaining a respectful and inclusive work environment where all employees feel valued and protected from derogatory and offensive behaviour. Furthermore, it serves as a reminder that individuals should be mindful of their words and actions in the workplace, ensuring that they treat their colleagues with dignity and respect.

Conclusion

Being called “Baldy” or similar remarks about your thinning hair in the workplace is a form of harassment. However, by documenting incidents, confronting the offender, reporting the issue to management or HR, and seeking legal advice if necessary, you can take proactive steps to address the harassment and promote a respectful work environment. 

Remember, everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of physical appearance.

Please note that the information provided in this article is for general guidance purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. 

It is advisable to consult with an employment law lawyer for personalised advice based on your specific circumstances.

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Harassment based on physical appearances, such as being called derogatory names like "Baldy," is a form of workplace discrimination

Are you being treated unfavourably because of your appearance?

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