Employement Refusal & Tattoos/Piercings in Missouri | General Discussion | Forum


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Employement Refusal & Tattoos/Piercings in Missouri
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
November 26, 2011
10:11 pm
Moscow Mills, MO
New Forum Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
November 26, 2011

I consider myself to be fairly moderate when it comes to tattoos and piercings, I have 13 tattoos, which most of them are all covered on a normal basis & my tongue is pierced & ears are only gauged to 10. I'm posting this because just the other day I had a job interview, at a gas station of all places, The interview went great! She talked about hoping to eventually being able to bump me up to asst management and everything, she was very excited to have found me, especially since they are very shorthanded right now. After the second interview was set up she asked me if it would be a problem to remove my tongue ring while working, I said that it was not a problem at all, I need a job!, then I proceeded to ask her about visible tattoos, I have my kids name visible on inner left wrist & Scorpio symbol on inner right wrist, after I asked her about that she said that there was no way she could attempt to hire me now. I told her that I'd be more than willing to cover them up, it would only take a watch, wrist band, or even long sleeved shirt to cover them. She refused, to me that just doesn't seem right, there are so many people today that have tattoos and it's a gas station!! It's not like it's a high rank position and they're by no means offensive at all. My question to the world is, Is there anything that can be done about this?? I don't feel the need to have to sure or anything like that, but I would like to be given a fair shot based on my qualifications, not shot down because I choose to display my love for art on my body!! I have approx 5 years experience for the job she interviewed me on, I should've just kept my mouth shut since I was wearing a long sleeved shirt and she couldn't see the tattoos anyway!! Now I know!! This form of discrimination is just as bad as anyother form, there needs to be something we can do about it!! I have now Boycotted that gas station, friends have also, We just need to be treated just as equally as everyone else on earth!!

Thanks for reading and letting me vent!! Any opinions and advice would be great!!

What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger!!
May 14, 2012
9:49 pm

Hopefully this will explain the "No Visible Tattoos" policy that more and more businesses are adopting – and yes, I do like tattoos, so please do not pre-judge me  . . . 


I am a business owner and these days, as an employer, I am no longer allowed to discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate tattoos. This drives me crazy!  Years ago, I could.

There are some really beautiful tattoos out there (I designed one for my son's back a few years ago), but unfortunately,  there are also a lot of really vulgar ones (in plain sight)  too.

My attorneys have warned me several times that if I open the doors to any visible tattoos, and then refuse to hire someone with an offensive tattoo, I stand a good chance of being sued for discrimination.  

There are numerous on-going lawsuits out there right now, because people refuse to use common sense in their choices.

My business is family restaurants, and I cannot have my employees offending our customers – -  who will then turn around and sue me for offending them.  So I lose no matter what I do.

The sad truth is, I am losing out on some potentially great employees, but I just can't risk the lawsuits. It is very frustrating! Especially because such a large percentage of young people now have sleeves, facial and neck tats that cannot be totally covered up. It breaks my heart, but again – - – I cannot afford the potential lawsuits. Just one could put me out of business. 

Okay, now this will make me sound old and out of touch, but please hear me as an employer who has provided jobs for thousands of people through the years . . . 

When making decisions about adorning your body, try to think "forward" about where your life is going and what your career ambitions may be in the future. Every day, I have nice people coming in and breaking down into tears because the tats they chose a couple of years ago are now holding them back. They tell me they were able to find jobs at Head Shops, Surf Shops, etc., but were sick of that environment and now wanted to move into career positions, but the tats are holding them back. 

Like I said above, it is not necessarily the tats themselves, it is the potential lawsuits. If we didn't live in such a litigious society there wouldn't be a problem.

May 15, 2012
9:45 am
Forum Posts: 271
Member Since:
July 12, 2011


I wonder if your lawyer is aware of our church.  Because this church is recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court, refusing employment to a member of our church because of their modifications is a violation of Equal Employment Opportunity laws.

I also wonder why it is that you cannot legally make a distinction between offensive and non-offensive tattoos.  Clearly there are some images that have no place in a family setting, whether it's on someone's skin or in a painting on the wall.

Were I in your position, I would never hire someone with "Fuck You!" written across their knuckles, or some other clearly inappropriate images or expression which could not be covered.  I can understand your frustration in that regard.  However, I would do everything I could to work with these people to find ways of covering the tattoos.


November Rain,

Even if their policy is "No Visible Tattoos" you were clearly demonstrating an ability to comply with this policy when interviewing.  I believe you should do everything in your power to fight for your rights in this situation.

Although you may find the prospect of a law suit distasteful, that may be your only recourse.  Obviously, making threats is not the best way to start a business relationship, but perhaps you could meet with this potential employer and try to argue your case again, explaining your total willingness to cover the tattoos at all times and, if you are, in fact, a member of the CoBM, your rights under Equal Employment Opportunity laws, which clearly prohibit discrimination based on religion.

One way or another, this kind of discrimination is wrong, and must be fought.

To me it's not much different than if a company had a No Hats policy, and for that reason refused to hire a devout Jew or Hindu because they refused to remove their religious head-dress to avoid offending God.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
May 15, 2012
11:31 am
Seattle, Washington
Forum Posts: 114
Member Since:
April 19, 2012

I've heard and expierienced it myself over and over again.

I have 10 facial piercings, and 2 tattoos, both of which are visible.

It's discrimination of course, but it's something we can't avoid.

As stated, it's all about the lawsuits that could take place for something offensive.

I don't think it's right.

I just think that if you do manage to find a job, make it last, and love the job.

"Welcome Friends, Romans, and Circus Freaks to the generation in circuitry."
May 16, 2012
11:46 am
Eden, NC.
Senior Forum Member
Forum Posts: 80
Member Since:
January 24, 2012

pam, my name is sonny.

i have 13 tattoos and HAD 12 piercings. all of which were visible except one piercing. and the tattoos are rather large.

i understand that if i have something that is literally offensive to others that it is at my own risk.

most people know and plan when they are getting something offensive, it is in their purpose anyway so i don't really blame you for turning them away.

for those of us who's modifications do not contain offensive material, i believe we should get the jobs.

have something offensive..cover it up, if you can't, your fault.

i don't believe it is discrimination; i believe it should be more so common human decency and respect.

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