DENVER — The drummer of a popular rock band said he was denied entrance into a popular Denver bar and grill because of his tattoos.
I have mixed feelings about this story. On one hand, a private business is allowed to enforce a dress code and tattoos are allowed to be included in their dress criteria. Had this happened to a regular guy walking in off the street (which I’m sure it does on a regular basis) it would not be in the news. It also would not have been news if they turned him away for another dress code violation, like wearing shorts or flip-flops.
The other side of the story is the fact that the band had lunch at this same restaurant earlier in the day and nobody had an issue with the tattoo. I would also imagine that a large number of people visited the restaurant in order to get a chance to meet the band. The very people who were bringing a ton of money into the restaurant that night were then not allowed to enter.
If they owners enforce their policy fairly and consistently, there really isn’t much that can be done.
Articles about tattoos in the workplace have been popping up everywhere and I have received a number of emails from engineering students who are questioning how tattoos might affect their chances of getting a job after graduation.
Every time the topic of tattoos and employment is brought up I give the same answers, so I thought it was time to write a little more about it. Referring back to one of my earlier posts which is now well over 2 years old, Some Basic Tattoo Advice, I said this
Think about how tattoo placement will effect your possibility of future employment. Qualified or not, I doubt these guys are going to be hired any time soon.
Teachers can’t sport outlandish hairstyles or facial piercings, and tattoos have to be covered up at the Litchfield Elementary School District.
Fifth-grade teacher Tim Schooley, who says he’s surprised it’s taken so long to implement a dress code, isn’t sure how school officials will enforce the tattoo rule. He has a tattoo on his calf, but keeps it covered.
“Tattoos can be a symbol or something of extreme significance that you have,” he says. “That, to me, is a little bit different.”
THERE’s been much moral outrage over tattooed ladies at Royal Ascot but the Queen and her family have long been happy to tolerate body art.
The royal racecourse has a strict new dress code which bans fascinators, bare shoulders, and short skirts from the Royal Enclosure but there are no restrictions on displaying tattoos or body piercings for that matter.
“Our view on that is there are no policies on tattoos, piercings or anything like that. It’s a lifestyle choice,” says Nick Smith, the Ascot spokesman.
Ariel Rivera, back home from college, thought she’d landed the perfect summer job — until the topic of conversation turned to tattoos.
The 20-year-old Bethlehem resident with a big smile and a wholesome demeanor had made it to her second interview to be a ride operator at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom but was suddenly dismissed after mentioning that she had a tattoo on the back of her neck.
And while U.S. law bars discrimination based on race, national origin, gender, age and disability, tattoos don’t fit into any of those categories.
“No judge is going to buy that,” Sigmon said. “They don’t have a right to a discrimination claim [either].”
The only recourse, for some, is laser ink removal — a potentially expensive and time-consuming procedure.
This is the reality of being tattooed. Employers have the right to not hire you because you have tattoos. You may think it is discrimination, but it is essentially the same as enforcing a dress code. You were not born with tattoos and in most cases nobody forced you to go get them.
No matter how widely accepted tattoos become there will still be people who look at them in a negative way. A business owner needs to understand their customer base and if they determine that tattoos would be bad for business, they can make a policy banning all visible tattoos. Just like they can require employees to wear a uniform, or come to work in a suit and tie every day.
Can these policies be frustrating and prevent certain people from getting jobs? Yes.
Is it discrimination? No.
I think people, especially younger people, don’t always grasp the concept of permanent and we are seeing the consequences as more and more are experiencing this type of trouble while out job hunting. A tattoo is a serious commitment and an appropriate amount of thought must be put into that decision.