Our three campuses are fortunate enough to have a wonderful organization we refer to as “SHIFT,” Shift Your Mindset, Propel Your Career.    This week’s guest speaker was none other than Bob Hurley. I felt so lucky to be there in attendance for this wonderful and informative presentation. There were so many highlights for me but one part in particular we wanted to share and kick off this weeks blog with a part of his presentation.

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A lot of jobs require employees to be customer-facing and on client sites. Although tattoos and body piercings are becoming more mainstream, there are still many traditional workplaces that favor a more conservative look.

The reality is that hiring managers discriminate and they are totally within their rights to not hire someone with a facial tattoo (or piercing) that they believe would be offensive or inappropriate in their workplace or with their customers.

In fact, it’s very common for employers to have a dress code policy that may ban visible tattoos and piercings. Many employers also have policies that require employees to totally remove body piercings while in the office or cover tattoos with clothing and/or makeup.

There are a number of protected classes when it comes to employment law. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against candidates based on age, gender, disability, national origin, pregnancy and a number of other categories.

However, there are no current laws that prohibit discrimination against people with visible tattoos, body piercings, unnatural hair colors, unique hairstyles, and so on. There have been some grassroots efforts to make body art and body modification protected classes, but those efforts have not been successful.

While it may not be fair to discriminate against a tattooed or pierced person, it does happen.

In recent years, the number of people with tattoos and body piercings has increased significantly and we may see employers relax their standards in the future, but we’re not there yet. If you have tattoos and piercings and you feel they are an important part of your personality, make sure you find a workplace that’s accepting of them.

Adapted from an article written by: Amanda Haddaway who is the author of Destination Real World: Success after Graduation and Interviewer Success: Become a great interviewer in less than one hour.

Revised by: Amanda Sanderson

Idea Contribution by: LaWanna Summers