IT Employment

Can a dress code prohibit body art?


Business professors at Texas State University surveyed 150 people to get their opinions about body art and co-workers. Some of those surveyed had body art and some didn't. What the researchers found was that those surveyed "would rather not work with someone who has visible art in situations requiring face-to-face contact with customers, even if qualified for the job." Even people with body art were critical of others who did, finding body art "a little unsavory in co-workers."

So, OK, let's say your company agrees with this assessment and covers it in the company dress code. Would that company be in the clear legally? Maybe not.

In 2001, Costco employee Kimberly Cloutier took issue with a change in the company's dress code, particularly the addition of a "no facial jewelry besides earrings" provision. She claimed that her nose ring and other forms of body art were part of her religious beliefs. (She belonged to the little known Church of Body Modification, which was established in 1999 and has about 1,000 members.) The church "urges its members to be confident role models in learning, teaching and displaying body modification," which includes piercing, tattooing, and branding.

This may sound over the top, but the case was tied up in court for four years until the U.S. Court of Appeals dismissed it. This was the court's ruling:

"It is axiomatic that, for better or for worse, employees reflect on employers. This is particularly true of employees who regularly interact with customers. ... Even if Cloutier did not regularly receive any complaints about her appearance, her facial jewelry influenced Costco's public image and, in Costco's calculation, detracted from its professionalism. ... Costco has made a determination that facial piercings, aside from earrings, detract from the 'neat, clean, and professional image' that it aims to cultivate. Such a business determination is within its discretion."

Of course, lawsuits of this kind also bring to mind other instances in which a religious adherence goes against a dress code. What if your company's dress code stipulates no hats? What do you do with those who wear Jewish yarmulkes or Sikh turbans?

According to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, "the employer has an obligation to reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs." But that's not an absolute. If an accommodation would create an "undue hardship" on the employer, the employer is not obliged to accommodate an employee's religious beliefs.

I'd like to hear from you guys on two things -- your opinion of body art in the workplace and on dress codes in general.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

380 comments
ict.aarongusman
ict.aarongusman

I think this is a socio-cultural problem. If it is widely accepted by citizens that even professionals can be tattoed or pierced than there are no problems with anyone being tattoed or pierced. Body art by all means does not affect one's talents and skills. Someone who dresses nicely and up to today's cultural standards of professional dressing might have less skills and be less fruitful to his employers as much as someone who is tattoed and pierced. It is only when a majority in society accept the fact that a professional may be pierced or tattoed but still be professional that employers would start accepting such practices.

Jim-MN
Jim-MN

OK, I admit it, I'm just needling. Jim

chris-b
chris-b

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn has a line I like a lot: "You say people shouldn't judge other people by the way they look, but let me give you a very important piece of information: PEOPLE DO. If you don't believe that, you're gonna spend the rest of your life walking around all tipped over." I've gotten pretty used to body-mod stuff at this point, but a couple of years ago my then-6-yr-old broke her leg, and the guy who came in to take her cast off had no uniform, a big gold chain, a big gold watch, and an eyebrow ring, and he scared the heck out of her when the saw started to burn her. Sorry to say, but my wife and I did complain to our family doctor about the nursing assistant we had nicknamed "Guido the Killer Pimp."

JonathanPDX
JonathanPDX

A business should have the right to determine how the people who represent it might be received or perceived by prospective and/or current customers and clients. As is made obvious in some posts, many people have and like "body art" and many don't, but regardless of their "private" opinions, ultimately it is the business (and its need to DO business and STAY IN business) that sets the rules based on what that business perceives as its client/customer needs. Employees or contractors, etc., are certainly free to work somewhere else that has different rules or workplace opinions regarding "body art" if they do not agree with the standards established by their current employer. Face it, discrimination exists in the workplace regardless of how we might want to wish it away. Ageism, sexism, tattoo-ism, piercing-ism, racism, body odor-ism...they're all out there and they all rear their ugly heads in different ways. A smart employee, if they REALLY want to work somewhere, will find out about the rules of engagement their business of choice has and conform to those rules. It's not a perfect world, and its becoming less perfect all the time. Unless you're irreplaceable (and chances are you're not), sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and hope for the best.

mikifin
mikifin

I have worked in the IT field for many years. When a company can only find what it wants in a specific individual they will bite the bullet on almost any behavior or appearance. In Seattle during the tech boom in was not uncommon to see some of the most outrageous "stuff" because most employers would hire anyone who could find the power switch on a computer, had a heart beat, and wasn't a major felon; if they could do the work. One guy showed up with a parrot on his shoulder in his long johns to work everyday, a topknot, covered in tattoos etc. but he was the best Oracle DB guy the company could find. Once the visa crowd showed up and you could hire a nice quiet smart, trained kid from some other country that would show up on time in a suit and tie every day as well as work late; the halls that were filled with the more unusual specimens of humanity began to empty in favor of these "visa kids."

mikifin
mikifin

I like the project management blogs and articles but not many of them are in PDF for later reference. I take the time to make notes when I find particularly relevent information but PDF would be faster for me. I have developed a compendium of notes for my reference but as I say it would be nice to have a set of PDF articles that I could refer to when the need arises. The other "divisions?", "departments" of techrepublic do this often but for some reason you folks don't seem to do it often.

BlueKnight
BlueKnight

I think the Court's opinion was the correct one. When I go into a business I expect those who work there to be professional. Some businesses can be more lax in the degree of professionalism required simply by the nature of the business. When I have to deal with a store clerk who has face piercings that show no taste and a tongue stud that makes it so their speech is made unintelligible, I'm going to think twice about returning to that business. Employees are representatives of their employer's business and need to act as such. Body piercings and excessive tattoos have no place in most businesses. No, if one works in an establishment that does body piercing or tattoos, that's fine... they're representing the employer appropriately there. Go ahead, call me old fashioned. Costco had it right IMHO.

david.powers
david.powers

Can a dress code prohibit togas? The thing about dress codes, is that they are an expression of the times. Certainly, appearing in the Roman congress dressed in am Armani suit would have been in bad taste, possibly even punishable by banishment or death. This type of issue will play itself out over the years as our culture adjusts to the acceptance of long or short hair, tie or business casual, smoking or not and piercings. In the mean time, a company has a responsibility to adjust its dress code in accordance with what it regards as societal norms that impact its bottom line, and while facial piercings may not suit Costco, as Sam's Club begins to outsell them because the body art community stops patronizing Costco for their anti-body art policies, the market will adjust Costco's perspective, and ultimately their dress code. For reference, I am a supporter and member of the body art community. I am also a realist.

theolog
theolog

I agree that dress codes should be able to require removal of visible jewelry which exceeds their business's view of professionalism in the workplace. For some, the display of body art/piercings is as unprofessional as having sexually explicit materials in your locker or on your desktop. There is no requirement that such a person must work for that company, and they are free to seek other employers who do not view such as unprofessional, like a tattoo shop or bar. Such persons also have the opportunity to work from home where their "art" cannot offend their own sensibilities. It seems appropriate that this employer privilege should address/extend to the length of fingernails, open toed shoes/sandals, collar-less shirts,etc, should also be addressed in the employer's dress code if there are prohibitions to visible body art/piercings.

samuel_ervin
samuel_ervin

Funny because most companies have a stipulation in their hand book for religion. Personally I belong to the NRA should I sue so I can wear my gun at work.

Jaqui
Jaqui

I've worked for employers who had dress codes that included hair length specifications. I've worked for employers who only cared if you were capable of doing the job and were reliable. Guess what, it's the middle ground that wins on this one. visible body mods [ tattoos, piercings etc ] are fine, in some workplaces. in others they can be an issue, [b]depending on exactly what the job duties are.[/b] If the job is completely away from client interaction, in an office type setting, then they shouldn't be an issue. Naturally, if the purpose of the business is nvolved with body mods, then having the staff displaying them is good for the business. In Person sales reps, when not selling body mods, piercing jewellery [ other than earings for women* ] should be a simple as possible, plain hoops / studs. body art should be hidden. In Person support reps, same as the sales reps. any staff that will never be around clients, let them have their mods, just require professional attire and behaviour. [ this will cover most body art and pircings anyway ] * since pierced ears are "socially acceptable" for women, putting restriction on them would be a bigger headache than it's worth.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Did and take their business elsewhere, and tell the Costco management that the lady with the nose ring is the reason? "It is axiomatic that, for better or for worse, employees reflect on employers. This is particularly true of employees who regularly interact with customers. ??? Even if Cloutier did not regularly receive any complaints about her appearance, her facial jewelry influenced Costco???s public image and, in Costco???s calculation, detracted from its professionalism. ??? Costco has made a determination that facial piercings, aside from earrings, detract from the 'neat, clean, and professional image' that it aims to cultivate. Such a business determination is within its discretion." I won't be shopping at Costco because they interfere with their employees' personal lives for no good reason. Consider the hiring standards for the job of President of the United States recently. Having a nose ring is not a deal-breaker for a checkout girl at a warehouse discount store. Ridiculous.

rclark
rclark

6 years wearing blue suits, 7 wearing a three piece suits, 18 years wearing a two piece, six days out of seven. So I am kinda regimented, I know. But my basic outlook is: If you were jumping out of a plane, who would you want packing your chute? Who would you want flying your plane? If you hit too hard and had to have surgery, who would you want to do the cutting? I currently work in healthcare, and we have a very restrictive uniform policy. Most of our clients are older, in compromised health so they don't feel well. They are often in ill humor. So anything that makes them feel more at home, more comfortable, more at ease is not only encouraged, it is essential to getting them well. Something as simple as bringing water and ice chips is a problem if the person doing so is perceived to be an "other", no matter wwhat the difference is. So if you want a job providing care for the sick, don't dress like a gangsta rapper, even if you are one. Don't dress like a deSade mannequin even if you are one. But take those same people and dress them respectfully, and have them render assistance in a respectful nurturing manner, and they are assets instead of liabilities. Most adornment isn't. Most people don't need tats or metal to say hello, smiles work so much better. But to each his/her own. The really facinating thing about this thread is that some of the most conservative members seem to have tats or piercings. Who would a thought. It just goes to show, you can't judge a book by it's cover, and sometimes not by the cover art.

jhsierra3
jhsierra3

After reading most of the posts, I knew i had to give my 2 cents worth. Background: I too worked for the mouse in Florida. There standards for "on-stage" meaning in public view and "off-stage" supposedly out of public view, were slightly different. Having worked in both areas I have an understanding for what they wanted. The on-stage was considered a "movie role", just like celebrities who have to cover their body art for certain roles, the mouse required a certain look. How many big movie actors/ress have body art, but you never see it on the big screen. Personal preferences are personal choices, but the job will require specific dress code. How would some of the movies look and get bad ratings if the proper religous type (pick your own stereotype) was portrayed on the screen with facial tats? Do you think a person would be the Pope with visable tats? What about President of the US? How many people in congress have visible tats? Before you write this off as the "man", look at the flip side. Would you get a tat from someone with no tats? Certain roles require a certain look. This is not against anyones religion or personal choices. For my IT consulting work, we were required to be in a suit and tie. Even when installing PCs and crawling under desks. This was told to us up front, if we did not want to comply, seek work elsewhere. This company was based in Dallas when the norm was polo and Kackis. Did we stand out and look professional, yes, was it a pain, YES! When someone makes a personal choice, they have to live with the restrictions that choice places on them. This can be any choice. I do not like wearing ties, my choice in where I work is based on this. I changed industires, I ask in the interview about this. I have not gone to work at certain companies because of my personal choice of not wearing a tie. This does not compare to tats, and the like, but the choice is still the same. Certain jobs require a certain location, certain look, and very specific needs. My Grandfather was in the Navy on subs for years. He had the typical tats on his arms and chest. When he attended his church, he always had longsleeves on. He felt his choice was to look proper in church. At his house and around town, it was his choice to show off his Navy tats. I like to say, to each his own. BUT I understand with each choice, there are consequences and restrictions. That is life, nothing to do with religion, personal prefernce, rights, or any of the other host of issues listed. A job/position has specific requirements, this can be technical requirements, specific location, or in this case a certain dress code. A company can put almost any type of restriction they want, but that does not mean the position will ever get filled. Last parting word, in sports there are specific rules on what can be worn and what can't. Tats are fine, but no jewelry. This is a seftey issue for all involved.

mgrimm
mgrimm

The religous belief was self created apecifically to accomodate their craving for self-mutilization. You will find no support for vanity tattoo or piercing in the western worlds foundation testaments. e.g. "Your body is not your own. It has been bought with a terrible price."; we were "made in the image(imagination) of God". You know that a lot of cra* flaunts itself as "art" these days. The last place I need to see it is on my waitresses face

nabila.khaliq
nabila.khaliq

dress code can be concern for some organization and other may not conisder it a big issue. in my view a managment should notice it at the time of hiring rather then firing later on.being a muslim lady i cover my head. i would not go to organization who have problem with my scarf. but if the same organization allow a jew and sikh to wear their hat then i should also be allowed. Nabs

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

'Generally', people who have body modifications are more independent and free-spirited, characteristics most companies don't want. I remember years ago, I was offered a job but told I'd have to shave my beard. This was not a customer-facing position, most other employees wouldn't even have seen me. I told them no thanks. If you're going to go against the flow, you should be prepared for a bumpy ride and refrain from whining about how other people treat you.

stephaniec
stephaniec

Judging by the number of emails over a few days' time, this is a hot topic! I am incensed that employers should have the right to deem a nose piercing as somehow detrimental to business - and at Costco no less! Who the heck do they think shops there? Fundamentalist types who dislike anything that suggests some individualism or free thinking? I am a 50+ year old woman, and some would see me as fairly conservative, but I am quite liberal in my thinking. I have 2 daughters, both of whom have turned down job offers when they came with strings attached: change you hair colour, remove your nose diamond. (a high class golf course, fast food outlet and, get this, a young woman's fashion store!!!) I'm glad they took a stand. I myself have double ear piercings, and plan on getting a tatoo soon, which will start below one knee, and snake a trail of vines and flowers up and over one shoulder. Can't wait. I think that employers are stuck in the muds about all this. I certainly don't stay away from businesses that employ creative, individualistic, proud-to-be themselves employees. In fact, I enjoy this differentiation. Goodness gracious, if we were all dressed alike and had few differences - how utterly boring that would be. By the way, I am well-educated, and self-employed as a writer. - Stephanie

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...that most of the people screaming that "appearance doesn't matter" would be scared to death if "Guido the Killer Pimp" were to show up when they needed medical attention. It's popular, "liberal", and easy to spout such opinions, but totally another when one feels it's their butt on the line.

paulhysen
paulhysen

Isn't it funny how the times have changed. Now it's the employees that are calling the shots. But with all this "power" must surely come responsibility. This means, that although a company should not "discriminate" against anyone, an employee can be made aware in writing that the employer retains the right to recoup any losses incurred through the willful behaviour of that employee, whether this be due to their actions, the way they speak (to a customer) or because of their appearance. It's now up to the employee.

jdclyde
jdclyde

at what point would someone make a pdf? if you go to the print view, you could always make your own? cutePDF is a free pdf generator and works nicely.

jdclyde
jdclyde

to see some numbers showing if the majority of shoppers at Costco's are pro/anti or just don't care about this. They might lose the pros, but if they gain more antis, it could be a good decisions. If there are more pro tat people, then and only then would this hurt them.

jdclyde
jdclyde

you would have to move to Texas go pull that one off..... :D

strangerinastrangeland
strangerinastrangeland

your tattoo sounds beautiful, stephaniec, i bet you will love it. the thing that strikes me about many of these posts is the dangerous combinatin of ignorance and the arrogance. it's simply ignorant to think that just because someone chooses to look different than you, they are not good workers. even small-town people in conservative places should be able to understand that. and it's amazingly arrogant to think that the world should accomodate one's ignorance by requiring that everyone you encounter should follow your own rules of appearance. and there's a healthy dose of sour grapes in some of the sentiments... the "i've suffered by squeezing into my employer's little box, and so should you" mentality is just sad. thankfully, it's possible to have a great career and a fantastic life and give these folks a wide berth. all of this look-like-i-do-or-you-are-wrong stuff is the realm of small people and small thinkers. i believe that every day i continue to be an individual and a senior professional in a world of conformity, i am helping our society to move one more step forward into being the kind of country that really believes in freedom of personal expression... because unless you're willing to allow others the freedom to be different than you, it's not freedom at all, is it?

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

Just the fact that an employer selects one candidate over another is a form of "discrimination". Everybody on this planet "discriminates" every single day. The only debate is over what is fair to "discriminate" over. "Discriminate" in and of itself is not a bad word.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]If there are more pro tat people, then and only then would this hurt them.[/i] If it's even, or if few enough people care one way or the other, Costco wastes money training new hires when they could have kept their existing, trained workers.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

HINT: It is generally not a good idea to resort to prejudice while engaging in prejudice.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]i believe that every day i continue to be an individual and a senior professional in a world of conformity, i am helping our society to move one more step forward into being the kind of country that really believes in freedom of personal expression... because unless you're willing to allow others the freedom to be different than you, it's not freedom at all, is it? [/i] I also believe you're helping, but I don't believe it's a question of people's [b]beliefs[/b] in freedom of personal expression. It's a question of people's personal courage. The same people are more afraid of Al Qaida than of drunk drivers, and approve retroactive immunity for wiretaps without a warrant or good faith of reasonable suspicion, because "Oh noez, did you see the videos of the Twin Towers? It's scary!!" Reasoning with others' emotions has been an exercise in futility, in my experience. The only viable option I see is to "give these folks a wide berth." Illegal wiretaps make that exceedingly difficult.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

you are going to live the life you want to, and decry anyone who disagrees with your choices as arrogant and ignorant? It is your employer's box , its not yours. All in all, another piss poor argument. The answer is very simple Yes they can say how you look is imporatnt to them, and yes you csan say how you look is imporant to you. If you don't have to change for them, then they don't have to change for you. Compromise, or go elsewhere, there's no wrong or right in it. Seeking to use anti-discrimination laws to impose a voluntary choice is stupid, self defeating and unethical. You say they these people are ignorant, and yet you think Michael Jackson can sue the Nation Of Islam for not employing him.

jdclyde
jdclyde

You would complain about peoples freedom, all the while seeking to look down your nose at other peoples freedoms? An employer has their freedom to decide what image they wish to project. You have the right to follow their wishes or move to the next employer, or start your own business. THAT is your freedom, and it is NOT allowed to infringe on the freedoms of anyone else. Look how ever you wish, it won't bother us. Of course we won't shed a tear when you have to work at the local burger shack because you are not hireable.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Most of it due to gvt manditories, such as lifting classes, food handling and safety classes. Even still, Costco will give preference to people with experience in retail to limit the need for training. But bottom line, their sandbox, their rules.

jdclyde
jdclyde

First, it isn't like there is a lot of training that goes into a job like that, and second, I don't recall that there was a boat load of workers let go because of the changed policy. One worker means nothing because everyone is easily replaceable.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

I'm very cynical with regards to human nature, to the point where I see it as futile as trying to change it or even hope to do so. People judge others every day by the words they use, the clothes they wear, their hair styles, their posessions, their mannerisms, their appearance, race, religion, et cetera ad nauseum. If you're hearing impaired like me, people assume you are stupid or ignoring them. These biases all exist. They should not, but they do. Since they exist, it is best to *not* hope that someone else will shield you from bias. It usually doesn't work, and if it does the best you end up with people resenting you and the worst is walking around with a big bullseye on your back. As for my personal tastes, I'd hire the best candidate. I've been judged enough in my life, I won't do it to anyone else. That said, I know for a fact that I hold a minority opinion.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Never mind. I was going to ask "How often is the look officially part of the job?" then I realized the question is irrelevant. I meant to limit the subsequent discussion to acting, modelling and performance like cheerleading. Mention of Hooters reminded me of how rarely I see homely women waiting tables in any restaurant compared to their prevalence in the general population. So forget it, you're Absolutely right: women are commonly paid on no basis other than having a common definition of beauty. Anyway, this woman made the wrong argument for religious protection when she should have just argued that the terms of a contractual arrangement can't be changed on her without her consent, so forget this thread. Both sides in the case are idiots.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]A basic human trait is dislike of the unlike, one I am well acquainted with. You can argue until you are blue in the face but that will not change that basic human trait.[/i] Reasoning with unreasonable bias is futile. [i]If you make a statement with obvious piercings and tattoos, people will judge you on that, period, end of story. Should they? Probably not, but they do.[/i] Should the rights of people to what they should not do, be protected? Should they be protected to the point of revising employment terms, a contractual agreement, without approval of the other party to the same contract? Of course not, but they are.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Your general descriptive comment about small towns is biggoted and incorrect. I guarantee you that any time you paint ANY group with a broad brush, someone will take you to task.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Of course they do. They also hesitate to hire you if they know you have a disability, or put you on high priority come layoff time. A basic human trait is dislike of the unlike, one I am well aquainted with. You can argue until you are blue in the face but that will not change that basic human trait. If you make a statement with obvious piercings and tatoos, people will judge you on that, period, end of story. Should they? Probably not, but they do.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]If you don't want to remove your nose-ring or 87 earrings to work for me, that's fine, I hope you find someplace to work that appreciates your views. You'd fit in better at such a place anyway.[/i] The guy who's too fat to get through the front door doesn't "fit in" and his lifestyle choices are truly likely to interfere with his ability to do productive work for the company, long-term. If the image you want to project to your customers is that you don't mind wasting money re-training replacements for your perfectly able employees, just because of esthetic differences -- you're running an IT department, not an art gallery for chrissakes! -- well fine, drive your company out of business. At the moment, I wish there were more employers with expanding payrolls, but in the long-term, better to let competition do its work on outfits that endorse such wasteful practices.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Good manners are common in Questions. This is typical of Discussions, though definitely on the mild side. [i]it appears that i am in a no-win situation, or i didn't get the memo about the rules of engagement in this forum, if you are now interpeting a general descriptive comment as a personal affront to your wife, who i am sure is a lovely person... so i'll just end it here. i really have no interest in fueling more flames or personal attacks.[/i]

strangerinastrangeland
strangerinastrangeland

it appears that i am in a no-win situation, or i didn't get the memo about the rules of engagement in this forum, if you are now interpeting a general descriptive comment as a personal affront to your wife, who i am sure is a lovely person... so i'll just end it here. i really have no interest in fueling more flames or personal attacks. you all just rock on.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

it's often true that the "look" is part of the talent. How many "less than the majority's view of pretty" (stated that way because my personal preference tends toward the Rubenesque) women are waiting tables at Hooters, or modeling for Victoria's Secret, or cheer-leading for the Giants? If one doesn't like the hiring practices of those businesses, one has the option of not patronizing them.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

You and jdclyde both made pretty much the same point about unanticipated deviations from the unspecified "norm" being a valid excuse for adding new requirements arbitrarily. That's a crappy attitude unbecoming an American. Nice straw man, but not the point at all. My point was that were employers to be required to follow your rules, then they'd have to attempt to anticipate any conceivable situation, and try to anticipate the inconceivable, making dress codes more complicated than the tax code. Any employer who did *not* anticipate the various situations and then reacted to them, but had to 'grandfather in' the bizzare behavior of those hired before each new policy change would then have to track who could be disciplined over what offense at what time based on nothing other than their hire date vs policy changes. As for my attitude, it is quite american as it is all about freedom.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]I'm sure there are no specific policies against a pierced eyeball, but if some screwnut comes in with one he shouldn't be rewarded for devising the inconceivable. [/i] You and jdclyde both made pretty much the same point about unanticipated deviations from the unspecified "norm" being a valid excuse for adding new requirements arbitrarily. That's a crappy attitude unbecoming an American.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Tats on faces, necks, hands, et cetera, as well as multiple facial piercings and that disgusting thing people are doing by stretching out their earlobes, until recently were unheard of. I'm sure there are no specific policies against a pierced eyeball, but if some screwnut comes in with one he shouldn't be rewarded for devising the inconceivable. Times change, management changes, people change and standards change. But the bottom line is that it is the employer's sandbox and he or she can set the standards they like.

jdclyde
jdclyde

good to see I was not the only one that picked up on the intentional slam against each and every poster here that doesn't think there should be no standards or regulations as far as body mutilations go.

jdclyde
jdclyde

There, do you feel better now? [i]"the thing that strikes me about many of these posts is the dangerous combinatin of ignorance and the arrogance."[/i] While I don't care about the typo, the ignorance and arrogance part WAS something that I felt entitled and empowered me to respond so. Your post continued in a downward spiral from there. If you take the time to read what you put and how you worded it, you will see that I was amazingly tame in my ridicule of you and YOUR "amazingly arrogant" post. Next time you insult the majority of posters in a discussion, I would bet it will be more than just me responding to your insults, and most are not as sweet and lovable as I am.

jdclyde
jdclyde

If you check the dress codes from 30 years ago, I would bet they don't address facial piercings. As the world changes, the rules change. I see this as one of two things. Either someone new higher up the food chain took over and put this in place, or it was being recognized as a growing problem and so was addressed with the modified dress code. Still dumb on her part to lose a job over a bogger catcher.

Absolutely
Absolutely

I was thinking of this message when I posted that one, in fact. http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=255795&messageID=2439496 [i]The way it is spelled out in the article, the whole debacle came about when Costco [b]changed[/b] its dress code. My interpretation was that there was no clause excluding the nose ring prior to her hire and/or prior to her getting the piercing, and she was only asked to remove it after the clause was added to the dress code. In this case, an exception may have been excusable in the courts as a sort of [b]grandfather[/b] clause. More likely it still would have been thrown out as a frivolous suite, but it would have been more solid than some hokey religious defense.[/i] My position is that grandfather clauses should be uniformly required, basically so that people cannot vote away others' rights even when they decide to vote away their own.

jdclyde
jdclyde

That is the one point that hasn't been made, is if she already had the piercing and THEN the rule was changed, THAT is the grounds she should have fought under. Although, it would have kept her job and saved her a lot of time and money if she would have just taken it out. Her choice.

Absolutely
Absolutely

All true, and I wouldn't have argued for religious protection of my tattoos (!!!) if it happened to me, or advised that argument if I had been a lawyer and it happened to a client. She had proven her ability to do the job and I don't believe employers should be permitted to add that kind of requirement on their existing employees who were hired under more lenient terms. No need for the "wrongful discrimination" angle; it was simpler dishonesty. The common term is "bait and switch."

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Disfigurement due to birth defect of calamity are other situations. Refusing to hire a burn victem is different than refusing to hire someone with blue hair, 97 piercings and a tatoo on their left cheek.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

For someone who hates to be painted with a broad brush, her own could cover a barn in a single stroke. My wife came from a very small town in CO, population under 1000 and 2.5 hours away from the nearest hospital, and is far more accepting of people than this twit who would degrade her.

strangerinastrangeland
strangerinastrangeland

but did i say something that you felt entitled you to respond with name-calling and insults? i never said employers can't select people who fit their company culture. i am pretty much an expert in what makes someone hireable, having 20+ years experience placing all kinds of people into all kinds of companies, very successfully, and that requires understanding corporate cultures and fit. i will tell you that rudeness, however, is an immediate deal-breaker in all companies, regardless of their culture.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]Off point: redouble or more; whatever it takes -- excel completely out of the park. Leave the game below.[/i] Some people have tattoos and do exactly that, around over and through all the nonsense we see here. Wow!

santeewelding
santeewelding

Subtle thinking. On point, too. Off point: redouble or more; whatever it takes -- excel completely out of the park. Leave the game below.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]An employer has their freedom to decide what image they wish to project. You have the right to follow their wishes or move to the next employer, or start your own business. THAT is your freedom, and it is NOT allowed to infringe on the freedoms of anyone else. [/i] That all looks good to me. [i]Look how ever you wish, it won't bother us. Of course we won't shed a tear when you have to work at the local burger shack because you are not hireable.[/i] The assumption that solely on the basis of appearance a person can be classified "not hireable" is what I consider sad. True, but sad. Knowing that a game is fixed in one's favor tends to undermine the sense of accomplishment that can be derived from "success."

jdclyde
jdclyde

or did you mean to reply to someone else? I don't think anyone here has implied looking ANY way implies talent or not.

Absolutely
Absolutely

It might be more closely correlated to income; that's sad too.

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