Discrimination Against Tattoos in the Workplace

The tattoos that some individuals adorn their bodies can now become subjects of discussion and debates in the workplace. Discrimination against tattoos in the workplace is now hot topics for conversations and exchange of views. There are diversified personal views as to whether these tattoos are neutral, positive and negative presence in places of employment.

Tattoos have been part of interesting and lengthy cultural history and got broad variety of tattoo practices on different origins, culture and objectives. Tattoos have also become a factor that influences employment related decisions. Some employers do not give big deal regarding employees or applicants with tattoos because they are fully aware that there are races that consider tattoos as part of their identity, status and connection.

Getting rid of individuals with tattoo might be an evident manifestation of discrimination to their races and beliefs that is why some employers are open about this matter. However, there are some employers who do not really entertain and accommodate individuals with tattoo in the workplace. However, the approach of employers depends on the type of business these employers are in and personal preferences at times. More conservative and traditional workplaces often adopt different attitude towards tattoo in the workplace.

Illegal Discrimination

If a company refuses to offer a promotion because you are a woman, there is discrimination. If the company denies employment due to race, ethnicity, religion or sexual preferences, there is also a clear manifestation of discrimination. Some may condemn discrimination against tattoos in the workplace but tattoo discrimination is not really illegal.

Rights of Employers

Employers have the right to establish dress code so as to require employees to remove accessories and body piercing while at work. Since tattoos are inked permanently on the skin, your employer might just request you to cover your tattoo while you are working. Employers have the right to fire you if you violate current rules and procedures for being tattoo free or piercing free.


You might be able to have the job despite having a tattoo but you will not probably advance up for tattoos might be a factor that will stop you from getting a promotion. If you got tattoos on the most concealed part of your body, you are lucky enough but if you got on that is ultimately shown, you might be disqualified for promotion. Some individuals considers this as discrimination against tattoos in the workplace but some believed that denying the promotion is just a way of complying with the rules set by the company.

Type of Job

The type of the job you chose makes a big difference whether to show your tattoos or not. If you are working as a laborer in a particular company, you might just be required to remove piercings and jewelries however, tattoos can be acceptable. If you opt for jobs that requires managing other people or working with the public, you have to cover your tattoo or as much as possible have it removed.

Discrimination against tattoos in the workplace might be continuously emerging topics however; there are sets of explanations why tattoos are prohibited in the workplace.

Tattoos Trends in the Workplace

Author Biography
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.