Does your company's dress code extend to body piercings and tattoos? Body art is becoming an employment issue, according to this interesting story from the Los Angeles Times.
Once associated with drunken sailors, felons and Hells Angels, tattoos have gone nearly mainstream, putting employers in a bind. How to write rules that won't alienate un-hip customers on the one hand or eliminate talented workers on the other? Different standards have emerged. A pink rose discreetly inked on an ankle might pass muster at a hospital but not a day-care center; an eyebrow stud will be viewed as charming at one store and a blemish at another. In many cases, grooming policies are being set by members of a generation known for letting it all hang out. "The baby boomers had hair out to the ceiling, cut jeans, ripped clothes that they washed sometimes," said Mark Mehler, co-founder of CareerXroads, a New Jersey recruiting and consulting firm. And now boomers are passing judgment on nose rings.This snippet from the story really surprised me: "Nearly 50% of Americans between 21 and 32 have at least one tattoo or a piercing other than in an ear, according to a 2006 study by the University of Chicago and Northwestern University." The story cites tatoo policies at several employers:
PricewaterhouseCoopers' says only that employees must wear "professional" attire, making no mention of ink. Employees at aircraft maker Boeing Co. can show off tattoos so long as the designs aren't what a spokesman called "offensive," but grocery workers at Vons are advised to totally cover up. The dress code for Disney theme parks and resorts is among the most explicit and conservative: no visible tattoos, and the only permissible piercings are one per earlobe. Earrings must be "a simple matched pair in gold, silver or a color that blends with the costume," company spokesman Donn Walker said. Hoops can't be bigger than a dime.Are there any plastics companies with restrictive policies on tattoos and piercings?