Tattoos Taboo: Workplace Acceptable?

In recent years, I’ve been told time and time again that tattoos have no place in the workplace setting. I’ve seen my inked friends often cover up in long sleeves and makeup concealer, or bear their tattoos and face harsh judgement. However, in a recent MSNBC article, it would seem that tattoos are no longer as taboo in the workplace as we might think.

Are they as taboo as we are lead to believe? Image courtesy of Infinite Tattoos.

Though I have no ink myself, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know individuals with incredible artwork covering their arms, legs, back, even their necks. A good friend of mine even has octopus tendrils wrapping down her thigh and a massive dreamcatcher on her back; another sports a huge chest piece and partial sleeves.  My personal opinion on the matter, is that some tattoos are art, and should be looked upon as such. However, since I’m not their employer, I leave the real issue to the professionals. In an article from October 2006, Fox reported that certain companies approached the issue in wildly different ways: some chose to loosen restrictions to attract young talents, while other made rules even harsher. In another article by Working World contributor Erika Icon, Icon states that while employers have every right to make employees cover their body art, they have no legal right to fire you based on your daring decoration. In an August 2007 article by ABC, it was revealed that companies such as Harrahs and Starbucks asked their employers to cover their ink, and that people of what are considered ‘high profile’ careers have begun to join the ink revolution (the article cites neurosurgeons, rocket scientists, and even corporate attorneys).

Delinquent or life-saving doctor? Image courtesy of Above Top Secret

So my question is, can getting a tattoo really affect your career? Leave your opinion in the comment section, but PLEASE remember this is a safe space that is open to any and all opinions (do not attack an opinion you don’t agree with!)

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3 thoughts on “Tattoos Taboo: Workplace Acceptable?

  1. Hey City Gopher. I love this post. As a young hopeful looking for work who also has tattoos, I think there should be a limit to how much of your ink should show in the workplace. I also think you should dress for the job you want. That being said, no one gets fired for having a beautiful painting in their office or cubicle, so why should an excellent worker be targeted or treated differently because their artwork had painted (painfully too) onto their skin?

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