Employees can fight it all they want, but one fact remains: as a general rule, employers are given the right to enforce dress and grooming codes that limit clothes, hairstyle, jewelry, tattoos and piercing.
If the fashion or grooming statement stands to compromise the company’s image, employers are entitled to protect it. Questions arise when policies infringe on race, age, gender, religion, national origin or disability.
A Reasonable Accommodation
Back in 2001, Costco was taken to court in a case that helped spell out the laws regarding dress codes in the workplace.
Ultimately the case determined that if employers have restricted a certain type of body art, they are typically required to provide a reasonable accommodation to help conceal it. (E.g. a Band-Aid over an eyebrow piercing, or a tattoo cover-up sleeve over a tattoo).
Importance of an Employer’s Public Image
Fortunately, courts recognize the importance of an employer’s public image. Now it’s time for employees to realize how important it is not to make issues out of tattoos and piercings. If you want to learn more about small tattoos that are welcome in business then read this great article.
If the employer is trying to work with the employee to find a solution, then a middle ground isn’t too far off.