One of our employees recently returned to the workplace with an arm covered in tattoos. I asked him about it, and he said “others have focused on home improvement, I focused on art. Do you like them?”
I told, “not really” and he just laughed and went to his work station.
Our dress code doesn’t deal with this, but it makes several of our senior managers uncomfortable.
Are we able to ban tattoos?
The question isn’t can you, 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 in conservative industries such as banking often prohibit employees who work directly with customers from sporting obvious tattoos.
Employers who ban tattoos lose access to a large number of potentially talented employees. Forty-seven percent of American millennials have at least one tattoo, more than a third have two and fifteen percent have five or more tattoos.
© 2020, Lynne Curry
Lynne Curry is the author of “Beating the Workplace Bully” (AMACOM, 2016, https://amzn.to/30V5JO6) and “Solutions”, https://amzn.to/2GYlnAN (both books are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com). Send your questions to her at email@example.com or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.