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Tattoos are Booed in the Workplace

Updated on April 28, 2013

It use to be, years ago, but not THAT long ago, a person with a tattoo was generally were frowned up (but not face to face). It was a thing criminals do or the uneducated. It was never looked upon as "art" or "skin jewelry". Usually, unsavory people got them. Why? I have no clue, still don't, but today many do it because it is "art" to them. They want the world to know about it by having it done in exposed places.

Most corporate companies with professionals frown on them and tell their employees to cover them up in a public environment or when clients are the bread and butter. Many, up to 60% of HR staff polled indicate that a person applying for a job with tattoos suffers a strike against them. They advise these seekers to cover them up.

About 23% of Americans have a tattoo and 32% of them are between ages 30-45 yrs. A person cannot sue on the grounds of discrimination for a tattoo, there is no law. Employers can openly state, " do not apply if you have a tattoo", they can refuse to hire you, even if fully qualified, if you have one.

Some retail firms that are trendy like tattoos, it is stylish and part of the fashion. Others, only care if there is something the public finds objectionable- slang, cuss words, nudity, sex. A person who is hired because the employer is unaware of hidden tattoos and later finds out because of public comments or exposure, can fire the person or demand they cover them up while at work.

Polls find that those over 50 yrs. find tattoos generally bothersome or have a negative opinion of them, while those under 30, have a much more accepting view of them. Still, tattoos present a real dilemma to a job seeker if it is in the wrong place where it cannot be hidden. If you are one of them, being proud about showing it off in public just may cause you not to get the job or to lose it.


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    • profile image

      Jamie Leigh 3 years ago

      Can anyone tell me what the woman in the pictures name is?


    • perrya profile image

      perrya 4 years ago

      I agree, it depends on many factors. The more professional and the more the job has public contact, the more reason to hide them.

    • StitchTheDamned profile image

      StitchTheDamned 4 years ago from Clifton Park, NY

      I think that it really depends on the career field that you choose. While tattoos are becoming more widely accepted, I do not ever see a business suit type job allowing visable tattoos. Where as, I work as a supervisor in an industrial-type facility and I have large half sleeve tattoos. I am able to move up within the company, with these exposed because the type of work. If I were to look into working as a secretary, I am sure that I would be wearing long sleeve blouses on a daily basis.

      Great hub. thanks for posting.