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Tattoos In The Workplace Essay

1406 words - 6 pages

Tattoos have been around for quite some time now, and they have always been a symbol of belonging, cultural expression or for religion. These days, individuals choose to tattoo themselves because it is part of their lifestyle or personal image. While continuing to grow in popularity and becoming a lifestyle, people are facing issues with having visible tattoos in the workforce. Although it is a form of free expression, employers have a right to enforce certain rules about tattoos in their company because they have a public image to uphold. How you present yourself to the public is solely important, which is why tattoos should not be allowed to be seen in the workplace, since it may appear offensive or unconservative.
Even though tattoos are becoming part of culture and socially acceptable, the negative and prejudiced attitudes towards those with body art are still present. Not all tattoos are gang related, and one must note that they have historically been a symbol of someone’s culture or religion. Other tattoos may have just a personal meaning to its owner and was not intended to be offensive. People also do not understand that a tattoo may impede them from pursuing a professional career, regardless of their qualifications. Employers realize that the need to recruit workers from different backgrounds are important in such a competitive workforce, so they provide accommodation by having reasonable dress code policies.
The laws generally support employer dress code and appearance policies, while employers try to be flexible by having employees to present themselves in a way that is consistent with the employer's image (Gross). As long as they do not discriminate on race, color, religion, age, nationality or gender, employers are allowed to have their own dress code policies that suit their company image.
Being strict about tattoos in the workplace seems rough, but the matter is as simple as following a company guidelines. People must accept the fact that employees represent the public face of a company, so it is important that they follow the employer’s guidelines to respect their company image. Your tattoos may or may not be an issue to the employer but it all depends on the location and size. With visible body piercings, they can ask you to remove them when you’re at work. Although tattoos cannot be removed like piercings, your employer can request that visible tattoos be covered at work (Whickson). If the tattoo can be hidden, then it shouldn’t be burdensome for the employee to simply cover it up to comply with the guidelines. In a 2001 study done by Vault.com, a research and employment information services company that profiles U.S. companies, almost 60 percent of employers said they would be less likely to hire someone with visible tattoos or piercings (Dellavega). Consider yourself lucky if your tattoos can be covered, because having a job is better than being rejected due to visible body art. Some may feel that people with tattoos...

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