Welcome to another installment of the Tattooed Poets Project!

This will be our sixth April celebrating National Poetry Month with a month full of tattooed poets’ work – both written and corporeal. Every day this month at 3:00 AM EDT, we will post a tattoo (or two) belonging to a poet, along with a sample of their work. Because interest has been unprecedented this
year, most days we will post TWO poets, with the second one appearing at 3:00 PM EDT. If you are a published poet interested in contributing, we will be featuring additional tattooed poets weekly, starting in May, or you can volunteer now for 2015. Please email tattoosday@gmail.com for details. And please, everyone, enjoy April on Tattoosday and thank you for visiting!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cleaning Out the Inbox: Supporting Tattoos and Piercings at Work

A lot has been written about whether employers can impose their corporate values on their employees' lifestyle choices. I'm certainly not an expert in the field, but I tend to concur - an employer's right to impose their beliefs about your tattoos and piercings is greater than your individual right to have them.

This doesn't mean, however, that people don't work tirelessly to try and change those corporate notions that body modification, whether through tattoos or piercings, do not make someone unfit for work.

I was e-mailed last month about the Support Tattoos and Piercings at Work page, along with this blurb:
"They started their page a little while ago because their friend was let go from her job for having tattoos & piercings. She always had the tattoos & piercings, but because of customer complaints she was asked to remove them or leave her job by the end of the month. Her friends started the Facebook group & paid for Facebook ads to quickly grow it. It quickly gathered friends and random people together to support her. They planned a specific date to have everyone email her boss saying they supported businesses that hired employees with tattoos & piercings.  When they did this it was the same night as a major snowstorm. So many people emailed in that it temporarily shut down her work's email system! She got her job back & now they feature fans who have tattoos/piercings and what they do for a living. I helped write one of the emails. They're also on instagram www.instagram.com/stapaw . Thought it might be a cool blog story."
I see it both ways - if I am a company and I worry that my employee's appearance might impact the bottom line, it is within my right to have them change their appearance. A lot of Starbucks employees cover up their ink for this very reason. This is not to say you don't have a right to tattoos and piercings. Often, however, you have to choose which is more important to you - your job or your nose ring. Similarly, you can't work for a company with one public persona and think you can keep your job, even if you exercise your right to free speech and spout off about things diametrically opposed to your employer's corporate values.

Nonetheless, I would venture to say that tattoo acceptance in the workplace is gaining ground. Whether it be the ongoing evolution of our society, or because of grass-roots and social media efforts (or both), the face of the American workforce is changing.

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

1 comment:

Julia Ergane said...

Generally, I agree with you (and I am a 63 year old non-tattooed lady who is still considering one). However, the young woman had already been hired and had been doing her job for an unstated amount of time. Apparently only one individual had cause for complaint -- and it was not for the quality of her work but rather "working while inked." Does the phrase remind you of somethings we rather like to forget in American history, things like: "working while Irish", "working while Catholic," "working while Black." It is something to be picked out, noticed. I am sure that the young woman would have worn a more conservative blouse had that been designated in the employee guidelines. It was wimpy and illegal to do what her employer did. Things always have to be spelled out. So, if I ever owned a business I would have to have it stated in a contract that there would be no facial or large, visible body piercings permitted or facial tattoos, either. This way there can be fewer misunderstandings.