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Worker wins $86,000 payout after boss allegedly discriminated against 'bald-headed 50-year-old men'

The man was compelled to resign from his job as his boss was intolerant of bald middle-aged men despite being one himself.

Worker wins $86,000 payout after boss allegedly discriminated against 'bald-headed 50-year-old men'
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Nappy

No matter how skilled a worker is, a discriminative boss would find one reason or another to get rid of them. In such cases, the law comes in the employees' favor since discrimination of any kind is strongly condemned in many parts of the world. Earlier in 2023, a 61-year-old UK employee, Mark Jones, fought for justice against his boss, who did not want "bald-headed 50-year-old men" in his team. When Jones lost his job due to this age discrimination, he took this issue to court and came out victorious, having won nearly $86,000 (£71,000) payout, as per the Independent

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Katrin Bolovtsova
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Katrin Bolovtsova

Being a sales director at Tango Network in Leeds, England, Jones accused his manager, Philip Hesketh, of driving him to resign from his job. Being a "bald, middle-aged man" himself, Hesketh did not want his team to be his "mirror image," as per the Employment Tribunal information. While looking for new resources for his sales team, Hesketh allegedly mentioned, "I don't want a team of bald-headed 50-year-old men - I want to change the dynamics." The manager was concerned about not attracting "more diversity into the application process." The manager's target was to recruit "high energy, energetic and youthful," and he effectuated the same instead of a middle-aged resource suggested by Jones.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Nicola Barts
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Nicola Barts

Jones started working at the company in 2019, in his late 50s. In February 2021, the discrimination became quite evident when Hesketh put Jones on a performance improvement plan, as per CBS News. Jones realized he was being set up to leave the job and eventually resigned by March, but not without getting his justice. "I am shocked, appalled and 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 which should never have been carried out in the first place," Jones's resignation notice read. While Hesketh claimed that Jones was not up to the performance, the company couldn't produce any valid evidence regarding his lack of productivity.

Apart from age discrimination, Jones also accused his employer of putting him on the PIP process, which was a "sham," breach of the ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) code and not taking his grievances seriously. Though the court didn't validate the employee's allegations about his boss's ageist remarks, it considered Hesketh's inclination towards "youthful" and "energetic" resources reprehensible. So, the final ruling ordered a payment of £71,441.36 to Jones, which was around $86,000 back then, as compensation for unfair dismissal, dismissal in breach of contract and "injury to feelings." 

Speaking of employees winning lawsuits against employers, a Kentucky-based man got $450,000 in a lawsuit against his former employer because they threw him a surprise birthday party. The man was suffering from anxiety disorder and had specifically requested his co-worker not to throw a party, as per The Guardian. Not only was his request ignored, but the managers also criticized him for "stealing his co-worker's joy." But when the company fired him for his panicked reaction to the birthday surprise, he resorted to the help of the justice system and won fair and square. 

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