REPOST ARTICLE SOURCE: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/workplace-discrimination-tattoos-piercings-16708.html
While a tattoo was a sign of a gang member several years ago, today it’s part of the culture. However, that does not mean that all employers see tattoos and body piercings as welcome additions to the dress code. Many employers do discriminate against those with tattoos, and it’s legal.
If your company refuses to offer you a promotion because you’re a woman, that’s discrimination. If a company fails to hire you simply because of your ethnicity, race, religion or sexual proclivity, you have a discrimination case. However, tattoo and body piercing discrimination isn’t illegal. Just as a bathing suit for a relaxed beach look might be one you’d love to wear outside of the beach environment, if you work in an office, you don’t because it is against the dress code. The same holds true for body piercings and tattoos.
The employer has a right to establish a dress code for his organization. If you have body piercings, he can request that you remove the related jewelry while at work. While you can’t remove a tattoo, your employer can demand that you cover the tattoo while you’re working. If a pierce-free, tattoo-free look is part of the uniform and it’s in the dress code, he has every right to fire you if you don’t follow the rules.
While you might be able to get a job even if you have a tattoo or body piercing, you probably won’t advance up the ladder. Look at the middle and upper management to see if any of them have tattoos. The chances are, none of them does. If you have a tattoo that doesn’t show, you are in luck. In most cases, the employer isn’t against body art, he simply doesn’t want it to reflect on his business. If customers and other employees can’t see it, it doesn’t.
Type of Job
Your chosen occupation makes a difference whether you can show your tattoos or piercings. If you work in a factory as a laborer, you might be required to remove your pierced jewelry for safety reasons but tattoos are perfectly acceptable. However, if your job entails managing others or working with the public, lose the piercings and cover the tattoo. Some people still find tattoos and piercings offensive.
You can sue for discrimination if a company fired you, failed to promote you or didn’t hire you due to a tattoo or piercing. However, you probably would lose. Because most attorneys realize this, you’d have a difficult time finding someone to take your case. If you lose, you could end up paying for the company’s expense of litigation.