Lose the employee or the tattoos

Question:

One of our employees recently came back from a vacation with an arm covered in tattoos. Our dress code doesn’t deal with this, but it makes several of our senior managers uncomfortable. Are we able to ban tattoos?

Answer:

Yes, but do you want to?

Employers may ban tattoos or other visible body art as long as they have a policy that applies to all employees in similar jobs and contains exceptions that accommodate religious beliefs. Employers often do prohibit tattoos on employees who work directly with customers in conservative industries such as banking.

At the same time, almost half of all millennials have at least one tattoo. Further, an October 2015 Harris Poll documents that 29 percent of the U.S. population has at least one work of inked body art. Are you willing to lose one or more current or future employees over this?

©Dr. Lynne Curry is author of ”Beating the Workplace Bully” and ”Solutions” as well as owner of the management/HR consulting/training firm The Growth Company Inc. Follow her on Twitter @lynnecury10 or at http://www.bullywhisperer.com.

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