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Are Tattoos and Piercings Protected under the Law

With this in mind, any employer who implements or enforces policies regarding tattoos in the workplace should keep in mind the following. The regulation of tattoos is and remains a particular challenge for employers. Some things to keep in mind when creating and enforcing policies are that employers still have the right to generally regulate the appearance of employees at work and to make employment decisions based on certain aspects of appearance. For example, in Riggs v. In the City of Fort Worth, the court agreed with the Chief of Police`s decision that an officer`s tattoos created an unprofessional appearance and that this adequately supported his removal from a bicycle patrol operation. What about the employee who claims that his tattoos are associated with his religion? “Don`t step on me,” says the employee, who shows visible tattoos with easily recognizable Ku Klux Klan symbols. In Swartzentruber v. Gunite Corp., the court addressed precisely this issue. When Swartzentruber employees complained about the tattoo of a hooded figure standing in front of a burning cross, his employer asked him to cover it, but he did not follow these instructions, which led to further complaints. Eventually, he was monitored by supervisors to keep the tattoo covered at work, and this behavior by his employer led him to file a lawsuit for religious discrimination. The employer has the right to establish a dress code for his organization. If you have piercings, he may ask you to remove the associated jewelry while working.

While you can`t remove a tattoo, your employer may ask you to cover the tattoo while you`re working. If a no-piercing, tattoo-free look is part of the uniform and is in the dress code, it has every right to fire you if you don`t follow the rules. The profession you have chosen makes a difference if you can show off your tattoos or piercings. If you work in a factory as a laborer, you may need to remove your pierced jewelry for safety reasons, but tattoos are perfectly acceptable. However, if your job is to manage others or work with the public, you will lose the piercings and cover the tattoo. Some people still find tattoos and piercings offensive. Learn more about FindLaw`s newsletters, including our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. This website is protected by reCAPTCHA and Google`s privacy policy and terms of use apply. An employer who inconsistently applies the dress code for tattoos and piercings may be held liable for discrimination. Suppose a male employee is fired for his piercings and tattoos. Anyway, its employees with piercings and tattoos do not receive any negative consequences. In this case, the decision to dismiss the male employee and turn a blind eye to the employee`s violation of the dress code may constitute evidence of discrimination based on sex.

For example, in Cloutier v. Costco Wholesale, the court agreed with Ms. Cloutier that her piercings and tattoos were part of her religion. But she ultimately lost the case because an appeals court concluded that Costco could not accommodate her without unnecessary difficulties. Learn more about the place of tattoos in the workplace and when discrimination laws apply and when they do not. If you feel like you`re being discriminated against in the workplace, take action. It is not acceptable for an employer to treat you differently for many reasons, but most importantly, not for reasons protected by law. Unless there is prejudice, an employer has the right to refuse to offer a hiring opportunity to a person with a tattoo or piercing. An employer has the right to refuse to hire someone they deem inappropriate or inappropriate for the position. The employer can only comply with laws that protect the categories of persons mentioned in federal law and state law.

More and more Americans are getting tattoos, which makes understanding discrimination in the workplace related to tattoos really important. As always, common sense should prevail when making decisions about employment policies and measures related to tattoos and piercings. Millennials and their tattoos are here to stay – at least until the next generation takes over. According to a 2015 Harris poll, twenty-nine percent of Americans ages eighteen and older have a tattoo, with nearly half of millennials (47 percent) and more than a third of Gen Xers (36 percent) having at least one. Although tattoos have become more common and socially acceptable, some employers are still reluctant to hire a candidate with a tattoo or want to require current employees to cover visible tattoos. If you think you have been unfairly discriminated against because of your tattoos or piercings, consult a lawyer experienced in discrimination. A lawyer can help you assess your situation and determine if you have a valid claim. Most companies have a dress code, although standards can vary greatly by industry. In general, employers can set their dress code and care policies to reflect their corporate culture, as long as they do not discriminate on the basis of a protected category. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, or national origin.

Some states, such as California, even have strict standards that also prohibit discrimination based on age, religion, marital status, disability, medical conditions, gender identity, and sexual orientation. From shoulder wings to plugs, tattoos and piercings are all the rage. But is it legal to fire people because they have tattoos or piercings? While you can get a job even if you have a tattoo or piercing, you probably won`t climb the ladder. Look at middle and senior executives to see if any of them have tattoos. The chances are good, none of them do. If you have a tattoo that doesn`t appear, you`re in luck. In most cases, the employer is not against body art, he simply does not want it to affect his business. If customers and other employees can`t see it, it can`t. Almost every state has laws that deal with one aspect of body art. (Nevada has no laws dealing with body art; Maryland has very limited laws).

At least 45 states have laws prohibiting minors from getting tattoos. Thirty-eight states have laws that prohibit both piercing and tattooing in minors without parental permission. Some, but not all, employers have tattoo policies that generally do not completely prohibit tattoos, but require visible tattoos to be covered at work. Is this a practical approach for millennial employees? Probably not. Millennials are much more likely to have not only visible tattoos, but also a greater number of tattoos than previous generations. Unfortunately for millennials, the legal and practical realities have not yet come together to reach a solid agreement. Legally, tattoos in California are generally considered Protected Speech subject to the First Amendment; Yet, for the most part, it is still legal for employers, including public employers, to have reasonable policies to regulate tattoos in the workplace. What these policies look like and whether they are pro-millennial is an unpredictable variable. A protected class or group is a segment of American society that is considered legally worthy of protection because of certain characteristics shared by all members of the group. Various combinations of protected categories are listed in federal and state workplace discrimination laws, the most common being age, race, color, national origin, gender, and disability.

For example, new members of the LGBT community in categories legally protected in some federal and state laws. Their protection is regularly covered by laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. However, there is currently no protected class of tattooed and pierced individuals, despite the growing popularity of these trends. If you have tattoos, then you know your rights to make sure you are not really discriminated against. Tattoos are not protected by discrimination laws. In fact, the law states that employers have the right to create and enforce a dress code in the workplace because it relates to their daily routines. In most cases, private employers have the right to introduce and enforce regulations on care, clothing and appearance for their businesses. In general, an employer may have a rule against tattoos if they are visible to the public and the employer has a reasonable assumption that tattoos will affect the company`s image or public relations.

When it comes to ending discrimination, tattoos and piercings are not eligible for legal protection in most cases. This is because people who choose to wear body art do not belong to a protected class as described in federal and state workplace discrimination laws – laws that protect groups that are historically treated unfairly as a whole. However, tattoos and piercings are becoming more and more acceptable at work as the number of workers wearing them continues to increase. Marinor: Wellness spas, law firms, financial services, insurance, banking, healthcare – where this employee is the first person to meet clients and clients, you need someone to present a professional appearance that suits the type of business.


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