A UK man, who was pressured to quit his job for being ‘bald’, has won ₹70 lakh or £71,000 as damages for workplace discrimination. According to a report by British tabloid The Independent, Mark Jones, a sales director at Tango Network, was encouraged to leave the job as his boss didn’t want a team full of ‘balding, 50-year-old men’. Ironically, the boss – Philip Hesketh – is bald and middle-aged, too.
Hesketh aspired to recruit a team of more ‘young and energetic’ workers for the Leeds-based mobile phone company. He didn’t want ‘mirror images’ of himself and wanted to ‘change the dynamics’, as per the report.
Jones complained that the firm treated him unfairly and actively worked to make him leave the organisation, even putting him on a ‘sham’ performance improvement plan. The 61-year-old also suffered a panic attack before eventually putting down his papers and filing a grievance complaint.
“I am saddened at the blatant manipulation and lies set out in the grievance report, and believe this is only designed as a tick box exercise to make me look bad and to further a performance management process that should never have been carried out in the first place,” he wrote in his resignation letter.
Jones then initiated legal action against his former employer and emerged victorious after the court ruled that Tango Network had dismissed him without any basis. He was also awarded a compensation of 71,000 pounds. As an employee of Tango Network, he was drawing 60,000 pounds a year.
In 2022, a UK employment tribunal had ruled that calling a man bald is equal to remarking on the size of a woman’s breast and can be considered as sexual harassment.
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