For some people, wearing tattoos on any part of their body can make them cool or fashionable. But for the ranks of the employed who have tattoos, donning body art may be subject to regulations and policies in their workplace. It may be tolerable for some companies but not acceptable to others. It is important to understand the different policies that govern the wearing of tattoos in the workplace.
According to a 2010 Pew Research Center report, 40 percent of adults between 18 to 29 years old don one tattoo with 50 percent having several tattoos. It’s definitely different depending on the age group surveyed. A similar 2006 report revealed that only 10 percent of adults age 41 to 64 years old have a tattoo.
According to court rulings, it is at the discretion of the employer whether or not to allow their employees to have visible tattoos on their bodies. Depending on the kind and location of the body art, current laws support the right of the employer to ban or regulate tattoos in the workplace. The law is being applied on a case-by-case basis depending on the industry or occupation of the employee.
In the hospitality industry, for instance, employees who directly mingle or deal with customers may not be allowed to have a tattoo. This is different in the case of a dishwasher or cook who does not have direct contact with customers.
There are many different factors that may have an impact on the policy created regarding the issue of tattoos in the workplace. For instance, gender and religion may come into play. Generally, men are more likely to wear visible tattoos than women. An interviewer may have a more drastic reaction to a female job applicant with a tattoo than a male with a similar tattoo. This type of gender bias could even be interpreted as sexual discrimination but that’s a completely different topic.
In general, tattoo related policies should focus on the business at hand and not on something as subjective such as gender or religion. It should always enforce what is best for the company. This way, employees will not have the notion that it was drafted in a discriminatory fashion.
Tattoo-related office policies should be created in such a way that the employees are involved in the decision making process. You can coordinate with the human resources department in doing such. At the end of it all, you should always communicate tattoo related policies with your new and current employees or stipulate your company policy clearly in your employee handbook to keep them informed.
About the Author
Melvin Magadia is a writer and blogger for Branders.com. He writes helpful guides about a wide range of topics but concentrates mostly on business, technology and travel-related posts.