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Tattoos, Piercing, Work, and Employment

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I know this is way off-topic for an escort site but I'd be interested in getting your opinions on someone having tattoos in the workplace. I'm not a big fan of tattoos and would never have one myself. But, I must confess that it has influenced my opinion of potential employees and I have a hard time looking past the obvious ink.


But, a neighboring city has done something that has me scratching my head. They now say that they will not hire ANY one for ANY job in the city if they have a visible tattoo. They also prohibit men from having earrings.


According to the local newspaper, "If that tribal tattoo peeks out of your collar, don't bother applying to work for Bountiful City. The City Council has voted to ban new employees from sporting head, face, neck or hand tattoos - currently tattooed staffers are exempt from the new rule. ...The ban also requires male workers to take out any piercings."




So, can a city legally discriminate against people with visible tattoos (even if their job is "behind the scenes" and doesn't involve public contact)? They claim they're only following policies used by the Los Angeles Police Department.


Any thoughts?

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You bring up a most interesting point. I have a small tattoo, of a scorpion (my birth sign), on the back of my left shoulder. It was my 35th birthday present to myself many, many years ago. I have NEVER regretted having it as it in no ways visible when I am dressed.

I taught high school for over thirty years and during about the last ten years tattoos became the craze with many of my students. When they asked my opinion I readily admitted that I had one BUT one not generally visible. I always warned the kids that in the eyes of many people tattoos are considered "low class" and if they really wanted one have it where it could easily be hidden during job interviews and at work. "Most" kids seemed to listed, one or two certainly did not. Your post proves I wasn't all together wrong with my advice.

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I don't know if civil rights laws cover this kind of discrimination BUT,

I hired a guy to be an assistant resident manager for one of my apartment buildings. He had one small tattoo on his upper arm which was usually invisible when he had a shirt on. So I had no problem with the image he projected when showing apartments to prospective tenants.


Recently he got two additional tattoos, one on the other arm ( I think they call it the tribal band Upper bicep.... like barbed wire) this one shows a bit more but lot's of guys have them so I let that go. Then he showed up with some kind of Asian lettering running vertically down his neck. Well this one makes him look like he was just released from County Jail. Since he no longer has the image that I want the buildings to project, I am concerned about whether to keep him or not.

The only reason I still have him is that he is so gay (read effeminate) that I am hoping that prospective tenants will not think the building is being managed by an ex-con.

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Guest zipperzone

In these days where discrimination seems to be the war cry of the masses, I would be really surprised if discrimination in employment on the basis of having a tatoo would be allowed by the courts.


An attractive and fairly discreet tat should not deter one from hiring the bearer of same. If someone showed up for a job interview looking like a road map, you could always find some other reason for not selecting him for the job. The word tatoo would not have to even be mentioned.


The City Council that is instigating this new policy is a bit full of themselves IMO. To say it mimics the LA police dept policy is a very lame defence.

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I got my first, and only tattoo the same year I retired from teaching--along with an ear piercing and the shedding of an expensive hair replacement, which I had worn for nearly 20 years. Why? The piercing dates back to my Peace Corps days when I crossed the Equator and was told by the sailors on the tramp steamer I was on that it was the "custom" to get your ear pierced when you first crossed. In

1963 I was reluctant to get pierced, but never forgot that "urge."

The tattoo, which is in on my back, below the shirt line, represents a

"tribal" type symbol for the yeaars I spent in Africa. Getting rid of the "hair" was not only a financial decision, but I was tired of being "phony" and worrying about whether people "knew" or didn't know---of course anyone who cared knew.

That was all a prelude to my comments:

If a person, man or woman, has a lot of very visible tattoos, I agree an impression of something is given--not sure "thug" "low-class" "ex-con", "alternate Life-style" or what. But something less than positive.

Piercings: Mine, I have two, are simple small rings. Again, more than one, including brow piercings, multiple piercings everywhere on the ears, nose piercings, tongue piercings, would all raise alarms for me---I can only imagine what these youngsters(usually), will look like when they are my age??

Finally, as far as civil rights are concerned---I think business people can pretty much write whatever rules they like, as long as they are applied to ALL races, genders, sexual preferences, physical limitations. Not so sure about what cities and states can do--I'd be interested in hearing from someone/some people who work in human resources and are more familiar with what they can and can't do in hiring.

Pretty sure the military branches have rules about what kind of tattos are acceptable and which are not--again maybe someonw with more expertise can chime in.

It's an interesting topic and I'm glad it was brought up for discussion.

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Guest timgetrum

Under federal law, an employer doesn't have to hire, or promote the most qualified applicant. But the employer cannot base decisions on personal characteristics that are not job-related. These characteristics often include:






National origin



In some states employees are presumed to be "at will." At-will employees may be terminated for any reason, so long as it's not illegal. In most states, employees that work under an employment contract can only be terminated for reasons specified in the contract. The mere fact that an employment contract is in writing is not sufficient to overcome the presumption that the employment is at-will.

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Tattoos and piercings can be hot… but in the final analysis less is definitely more… and a clean slate is even better in my book. I have talked with too may people of both sexes who have had their tattoos strategically placed so as to hide them for employment purposes… As an example I know a female who always wears fish net stockings while at work to hide her ankle tattoo. If you need to hide the freaking thing why get it in the first place! Piercings are another story especially on certain areas of the face… in certain situations and business establishments they can be downright offensive… As an example, would you frequent a professional office where a staff member had a rivet in the center of their chin? Add some dyed orange and green hair along with some Chinese lettering crawling on the person’s neck and you are off the charts!


I always think of the story told by Frank Lopardo, a tenor who several years back sang regularly at the Metropolitan Opera. He was in a gang during high school and got a tattoo on his arm. He related how he often felt embarrassed during rehearsals as the hideous thing seemed so much at odds with his occupation. Well, that was then and more and more individuals are getting the silly things and in the most bizarre places as well… and featuring the most bizarre designs… and even in the hoity-toity world of opera.


I had a female walk into my office a few years ago. Just before she sat down her pants slipped a bit to reveal the top portion of a massive New York Yankee Logo on her upper butt. Just to break the ice… and to have a little fun with her…I turned the conversation toward baseball and relayed how I was a Yankee fan but that somehow she looked as though she were a Boston Red Sox fan… She got indignant and said, “No way! I’m a Yankee fan … and I’ve got the tattoo to prove it!” Of course she jumped up and proceeds to pull her pants down to reveal more of her butt than I would have wanted to see… but because of her butt we did subsequently did develop a good working relationship as fellow Yankee fans… but still!


In the 1970’s I took courses with medical students and during one lecture on sexually transmitted diseases the professor stated that if a person (and especially a woman) has a tattoo the odds of them having an STD increased dramatically. Add a piercing and it was a given. He had the photographs of the tattoos, piercings, and the associated sexual organs to prove his point. The moral of his story was for a physician to always red flag any patient with a tattoo and or piercing… of course again that was then and this is now… Now the silly things are so ubiquitous that even grandmas have them. How things have evolved over the years!


So here’s my advice for the future and specifically regarding what to do to fund your retirement plans… invest in tattoo removal! I think there will be a lot of unhappy individuals walking around in future years who when they reach a certain stage in life will regret what they have done. Either that or it will be a sight for sore eyes to visit the geriatric ward and have to see all those shriveled, withered, and wrinkled “works of art”… That tattoo of a snake that was once on a pec or a boob… but now has slithered down to an area below the navel ain’t gonna be a pretty sight…

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Unfortunately "Tatts" will always be in certain Circles Taboo!


So IF you have No Intention of stepping into those Circles Fine!


There is a very good Documentary on the Subject of Tattoos.. which does show once in a while on the Nat Geo or History Channels!


Yes.. I do have One Tattoo that "I do and always will like" and not even think of Removing! ;-)

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