Sunday 18 January 2009

Red hair bullying cases could end up in court

From The Register:
"In the UK, anti-discrimination legislation prohibits only less favourable treatment on certain grounds – currently sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief and, in employment, age," said Barker. "Less favourable treatment on the grounds of hair colour or appearance, except where it is linked to race, isn't specifically prohibited and name calling of someone with red hair won't amount to unlawful discrimination."

"It could however amount to bullying," she said. "In the workplace, if an employee feels that they are being bullied or harassed for any reason, for example because of their hair colour or appearance, they could lodge a grievance and ultimately could even take the fairly drastic step of resigning and claim constructive dismissal if they could show that their employer failed to intervene to prevent the bullying or harassment concerned."

The practice of picking on people with red hair is thought to be a particularly British trait. Though it can sound trivial to others, years of abuse at school and then also at work can leave the bullied person feeling extremely distressed.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think to deny there is red hair discrimination out there is complete ignorance! Of course there is. Can we call it racism? Not exactly but it is still vilification. I think it's about time people were made accountable for their 'bullying' and discriminatory remarks and taunts. You often hear people say that they are glad that their children weren't born with red hair but what about those children who are born with it? Isn't it, after all, about protecting kids from this kind of hate?