An argument against the discrimination of employees with body art in the workplace

Body art in the workplace piercing the prejudice

Because restricting tattoos can limit the potential of a workforce, and the number of people with tattoos in America has significantly increased, I argue that we re-evaluate the culture and judgements of tattoos. Litigation based on disputes over body art has arisen principally in the context of religious discrimination. At present, provided the rules are equally applied, it seems they can be. On appeal, the higher court affirmed the trial court's ruling and went further to hold that the employer had no duty to accommodate its sales employee's religious beliefs by exempting her from the organization's dress code, because to do so would impose an undue hardship on the employer. The court ruled that the employer had fully satisfied its legal obligations to provide a religious accommodation and that the employee's claims were not actionable. This is why some employers impose dress codes or introduce uniforms. In either case, the standard is less demanding than the undue hardship standard in Americans with Disability Act claims. Promotions While you might be able to get a job even if you have a tattoo or body piercing, you probably won't advance up the ladder. Employers should also weigh the benefits of denying or limiting body art against the risk of a potential claim of unlawful discrimination or the possible loss of a valuable employee who may not feel comfortable in a workplace where policies infringe on his or her religious expression. Because of this, it is probably best to limit tattoos in the work setting altogether rather than single people out. If you have body piercings, he can request that you remove the related jewelry while at work. In such accommodation cases, courts will closely examine the facts on a case-by-case basis. The employer argued that the alleged religious practice was not a sincerely held, bona-fide religious practice, but instead a personal preference that was applied inconsistently and arbitrarily, in that the employee claimed that inadvertent covering was acceptable, but that intentional covering was not.

Lloyd Clarke explains. In that case, an employee with a tattoo depicting a hooded figure standing in front of a burning cross stated that he was a member of the Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and that a fiery cross was one of the church's seven sacred symbols.

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While most tattoos do not depict images that are so blatantly socially unacceptable as this one, there are many subtle images that can cause a client to feel uncomfortable when approaching a worker.

Not only is it becoming more common for people to have sentimental tattoos, but it is also more common for people to have tattoos in general. Thus, not all employers have been successful. They are sported by mainstream celebrities like David Beckham and Cheryl Cole as well as some other unlikely famous faces; David Dimbleby had a scorpion tattooed on his shoulder at age 75 for example.

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Employers should also weigh the benefits of denying or limiting body art against the risk of a potential claim of unlawful discrimination or the possible loss of a valuable employee who may not feel comfortable in a workplace where policies infringe on his or her religious expression.

Litigation based on disputes over body art has arisen principally in the context of religious discrimination. A legitimate business purpose for having such a policy is to require staff and volunteers to present a business-like appearance.

should tattoos be allowed in the workplace

Can you legitimately refuse a person employment — or indeed sack them — for their taste in ink? Alternatively, you could consider relaxing your policy. Read More Stay Connected. Having said this, there is the possibility for discrimination claims to be raised against employers if the discrimination relates to something like age or religion.

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Tattoos and Piercings: unacceptable in the workplace or just a matter of diversity?