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Hiring Based on Body Art

Categories: Body Art

Why do some employers ban tattoos while other doesn’t mind them? If a person is trying to get a position that interacts with the public or with people from other companies, those other people could be judgmental about tattoos that are visible outside the clothes. There’s probably a variety of reasons but I think a common one is that some companies feel that their employees project their company image and they’d like some say in the image that they have.

This is obviously truer when the employees are dealing with the public.

Now in some industries, the company image of employees having tattoos is benefit, a but in others, especially in certain more conservative markets, tattoos are viewed as a blemish on the image. Keep in mind, too, that some companies pay marketing and PR firms quite a lot of money to develop and reinforce the chosen image for the company and with those companies, it’s an important thing that they want to project and they want to protect it.

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Employers tend to cater to their customers.

If their customers are more conservative, they probably won’t want to deal with a tattooed and pierced salesperson/clerk, and they may ask someone to remove their piercings and cover their tattoos with long sleeved clothing, for instance. Some employers don’t care, it’s the quality of the person and his/her work that matters. As long as you dress safely (i. e. , sturdy shoes if you’re working around heavy machinery and pull long hair back if you’re around moving equipment) it doesn’t matter.

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And some employers – those who are trendy and catering to a younger and more edgy crowd may encourage it

Because some of us think tattoos are a sign of less than upstanding type of person. Some don’t want to have their customers think that the business is not upstanding, and having employees with tattoos will make their business look bad. I personally associate tattoos with drug use, as many who use drug cover the marks with tattoos, and therefore would not really like to have food served to me by a tattooed server, out of fear of disease associated with intervenes drug use. Tattoos are not a civil right. A company has a right to control the dress, hairstyles, and overall appearance of their employees.

A company probably wouldn’t ban a tattoo, but if someone has “Evil Satan” on their forehead that is probably not going to go over in a job interview!! Because for certain job like those higher up it’s not healthy. Say you’re in the doctor’s office && your doctor has tattoos all over even on his face… would you think he knew what he was doing. To me they give off a bad image in the work place… I love tats don’t get me wrong but getting them in ridicules places seem unprofessional. Sure it doesn’t affect your ability of how you do the job but other pals opinions would not get you any high up job nor business.

Should it be illegal to allow tattoos to be a factor at all in the hiring process? I think it should be frowned upon, but not illegal. If you have a company and you have people representing you, then you can choose what kind of image those people have. There’s a lot of stigma related with tattoos culturally (whether founded or unfounded isn’t the point), and if there’s an industry or position where that stigma could affect business, then that’s the boss’s decision. It’s not like people who’ve gotten tattoos didn’t know that it might be an issue later on, you should get them where you can cover them up.

They make people take piercings out to work (some little old lady at the supermarket may be offended by a septum piercing etc. ). The issue isn’t whether it should be illegal to not hire because of tattoos, it’s that we should all just get over it as a society. Depends … do they have an Hate Kill tattoo across their knuckles, an tattoo of an Nazi flag on the forehead, or an naked men/women on their skin? Any place where they work at is an professional place. So thus they need to look professional and keep bringing back people. If it’s a very beautiful rtistic tattoo I would allow it, or if it’s a tattoo that means a lot to them, again I would allow it. (What I mean by allowing it is exposing it) As long as its tasteful or able to keep the tattoo hidden. In some jobs I think it should be illegal.. Like when a grocery store won’t hire someone with visible tattoos or piercings, that’s ridiculous. A tattoo doesn’t make you look any less presentable in that situation. (I used to have to cover mine up!! ) But for other jobs, where being presentable and demanding respect (a lawyer, a judge, a cop, maybe a doctor… I think it is fine that tattoos are a factor. I wouldn’t want my attorney to have tattoos all over their arms. Yes, many businesses will allow one that can’t be seen, many feel it is not acceptable in the work place. Many do not allow nose piercings to worn at work along with chin, and lip. It is their business and if they feel it makes a bad presentation or statement about employees that should be there choice! No. It’s up to the employer. They don’t have to hire you if you have a tattoo and they shouldn’t be forced to do so. Same as a smoker, drinker, etc. I’m talking private sector now.

I’m sure there are some politicians working on government requirements to have a quota of at least 10% people with tattoos. nope. There are only a few illegal categories for discrimination such as sex, age over 40, race, etc. tats are way down the line from those. I have ink but it is on my biceps & hidden most of the time. I know people with full sleeves, skull & even facial tats. One man’s head is mostly green. They knew before they did it that they were making a life decision. Absolutely not! For one thing, having a tat is a risky behavior — one that many employers may not want in an employee.

Another is that many people who buy goods think that tats where you can see them is tacky, and may shop elsewhere. No one is ‘entitled’ to work at a place where their personal looks or behavior is to the detriment of the business Is It Legal for Employers to reject job-seekers because they have piercings or tattoos? legal? YES, unless……. the tattoos/piercings are related to a bona-fide religion and/or ethnicity and the employment decision was made based on that religion/ethnicity. this is a grey area that the EEOC can assist in but generally it is legal for an employer to have such a policy EDIT:

This is taken from the EEOC website and the accommodation for tattoos and piercings COULD fall under this………. “Employers must reasonably accommodate employees’ sincerely held religious practices unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer. A reasonable religious accommodation is any adjustment to the work environment that will allow the employee to practice his religion. An employer might accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices by allowing: flexible scheduling, voluntary substitutions or swaps, job reassignments and lateral transfers, Fair or not, it’s life.

There are laws about bias for race/gender/religion but nothing about appearance of non-naturally occurring features. Certainly employers can reject an applicant for the reason of appearance – perhaps their customer base would not respond appropriately to piercings or tattoos or unusual hair color. I’m sure there are some positions where it would not be a problem, but I can’t see those being assets in a law firm or accounting office. Some places prohibit visible piercings and tattoos (schools for example). Strictly legal, piercings/tattoos are NOT set out as a special category of people.

In Federal discrimination laws, those categories are sex, age, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, disability, marital or military status. So, since Federal law has not made piercings/tattoos a distinct discrimination basis or category, it would not be illegal under Federal discrimination law to reject an employee due to this. State laws usually follow the same basis on discrimination as the Federal law with few exceptions. So unless you could link piercings/tattoos to an existing discrimination base, fair or not, that is a reasonable reason to reject a person.

Employers look at a person’s ability to do the job, and they look at safety issues. For example a person who has only one arm may be rejected for a job where he must lift a certain poundage and throw heavy ropes, such as a long shore man. The person with one arm may feel that is unfair, but if he cannot do the job or must rely on other workers to do his work – the rejection is legal. A person with a piercing may have the potential of a safety problem in a fast moving assembly line where people are not even allowed to wear wedding rings.

EDIT: for those who do not understand the law and how discrimination may be perceived this is directly from the EEOC, tattoos fall under the same guidelines as a dress code… so there are instances where not hiring just due to the tattoos COULD be seen as discrimination and could cause the employer problems if nothing more than having to defend their reasoning…… “While an employer may require all workers to follow a uniform dress code even if the dress code conflicts with some workers’ ethnic beliefs or practices, a dress code must not treat some employees less favorably because of their national origin.

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Hiring Based on Body Art. (2018, Aug 26). Retrieved from

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