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Employment Discrimination
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June 18, 2011
4:54 pm
devyne80
New York
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I am sure that this topic has been brought up before, however I have noticed that once I walk into an establishment, I am not even given the opportunity to fill out an application nor hand in my resume. I have contacted the EEOC as well as the New York State Division of Human Rights. They both agree that this is discrimination, however, how does one prove it. Of course, other grounds for not even being considered could be mentioned, but let's be real. It is obvious from the stares, glances, and even comments that I am "merely looking for attention". Should we conform to what society calls "normal" and be completely uncomfortable in our own skin to make others feel more comfortable. Do my tattoos, piercings, and other modifications make society feel that I am subhuman? I am actually planning on taking this whole case as far as I must because it happens way too often. I am personally a college student who has been on the Dean's list with a 3.9 GPA for a while. My modifications are who I am, and I do not plan to change that for anyone. I just hope that we all stick to our convictions.

June 20, 2011
2:29 am
Oakbear
UK
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As far as i am aware it would be legal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of appearance in the US, as it is in the UK. Where it becomes more complicated is in terms or religious beliefs, or in the UK any 'genuinely held' belief. Should it happen? Of course not. Does it? Certainly. Would i want to work for someone with a superficial attitude to employees? No, but needs must sometimes!

The real question is how to change it?

Whilst legal recourse is sometimes necessary (see recent case re: CoBM member and her school), i'm not sure how this would help in this instance. Maybe i'm wrong though, and feel free to take advice.

Personally i'm a strong beliver in presenting yourself in the best possible way, demonstrating your ability and gaining experience. Sometimes this means earning modifications by delaying them until you have gained some of that experience, qualifications and good references. This gives us a chance to challenge prejudice in a positive manner.

Personally it has also given me a greater sense of value to my modifications, and appreciation for the work i have put into both them and my career.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
June 23, 2011
8:53 am
devyne80
New York
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I completely agree. I have followed quite a few cases of those who are members of CoBM as well as those who belong to religions such as a young man who belongs to the Kemetic faith and was fired because his religion prohibits his tattoo to be covered. I'm just trying to figure out the best form of action.

My argument with other is that my body modifications does not mean that I am any less capable or any less intelligent that the next person. Especially because my qualifications are ridiculous. I especially admire the "tattooed doctor" Dr. Dave. http://www.neatorama.com/2007/…..ed-doctor/

I actually want to hold an interview with him regarding his views and any problems he may have faced based on his modifications. But he is a poster-child (so to speak) of the point that our mods have no effect on our intelligence or our abilities.

Thanks for the advice.

June 23, 2011
2:24 pm
Oakbear
UK
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I feel sure that doctor got qualifications first! It's not right if so, but a reality in this society.

The whole 'under the lab coat' is a bit tame too! I say push the envelope!

 

I have had many mods in my current post (i'm much more visibly modified than the doctor), so do worry about my next interview. We'll see though, and i hope my qualifications and experience count more than appearance!

 

Glad you're thinking about things for yourself and not just 'giving in'!

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
July 6, 2011
9:43 pm
nohidingstyle
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The state of these issues and their legality does not necessarily match that of the UK. 

 

In the USA it is difficult to pinpoint specifics regarding these laws. This is related to the intended framing of the legal system. There is a general rule of specificity related to legality, enforceability, and right as related to justice—the closer to the individual, the more valid the right. 

 

One of the advantages of this is that you should just act upon your will, justice bedamned (perhaps this explains our crime rates). One disadvantage is that it can be difficult to build a defensive case when the enforcement of justice is so fluctuating. 

 

My overall assessment is that there is clearly a prejudice in society toward those outside the normal appearance, and that you are likely a victim of these prejudices. If it is something that has truly effected your life so negatively, the onus of proof unfortunately becomes yours. Get a micro-recorder; an in-glasses video-cam; something that can be used to record and make evident the experience(s) that you want to display. The more specific the better. Video makes the most sense evidence-wise, but is the most difficult to conceal. The amazing thing here is that, while the evidence may aid a government court case, you can easily win these cases in the court of public opinion for far greater overall advantage—you just have to win the heart of the people while you do it. Laugh

July 9, 2011
1:29 pm
Kruppe
Oregon City, Oregon
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I am a Body Piercing
Technician in trade.  Though I work in this industry, I still have felt
the discrimination in the workplace.  I have worked in shops that are more
for the "standard" community, where as I am in the "outside"
community.  I only have a few modifications anymore. most of them have
always been piercings, though I also have my tongue split.  I have been
ridiculed by my co-workers for having body modifications.  I find it funny
that in the industry that allows for people to be modified, people still
ridicule.  I may not be surprised, just saddened

July 10, 2011
6:08 pm
faithlessfate
NYC
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In the US it is supposedly illegal to discriminate based on physical appearance. However, it still happens, and in the case of corporate work or corporate-based retail (for example target) It is at the corporation's discretion to include bylaws governing physical appearance to wit modifications.

 

I myself was turned down for a job at Target (in the overnight stock rotation yet) because of a single visible tattoo on my neck(which is easily hidden by my hair, but I wasn't given the opportunity). 

 

I am also a Body Piercer, and only recently have discovered what was something of an anomaly to me previously: The unmarked tattoo artist.

 

It seems to be a "thing" in most of the shops I frequent and pierce in that they hire artists and piercers without visible art or modifications, and they seek them out. I have four visible tattoos in short-sleeves, and a spike in my labret as well as my eyebrows both pierced… by some standards very little visible modification, but by many employers, much too much. I am neat and clean, I practice good hygiene, but still I am frowned upon by prospective employers as being "dirty" because of my mods and the manner in which I dress.(jeans and a t-shirt, as well as a decorated denim vest sans colors leftover from my biker days)

 

I also have been discriminated against because of physical appearance without my mods coming into the equation. I am heavy-set, not due to overweight, but due to a medical condition that affects my body mass. My legs bulge due to this condition(lipedema if anyone is curious) as does my abdominal area. This apparently makes me "distasteful in appearance" as one former employer told me to my face. I tried to bring him to task for it, and he denied his allegation, citing instead ridiculous allegations that I was a sub-par piercer(I have been piercing for 10 years, am fully licensed and certified, and am aware of my limits in skill, and will admit them freely).

 

Devyne, I sincerely hope you continue forward, and if you choose the path of legality, I would willingly join your cause as a class-action litigation in favor of getting modification added to the anti-discrimination clauses in the New York constitution.

 

Feel free to add me anywhere you wish, I can usually be found by typing Faith Alana Alastair into google. 

 

Faith

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