Is Tattoo Becoming Less Taboo At Work?
Tattoo – a form of body art, symbolization to style and being trendy. Since, the trend of Tattoo is no new, it was prevalent even in the era of our ancestors. The only difference was in the purpose. Earlier, people got inked to devote their love and respect for their religion, or related reasons. Over time, tattoo became a style symbol, especially among the youngsters. And thus, became a sign of unprofessionalism. As a result, people with tattoos are not allowed to appear in many professional career options.
But, with the increasing popularity of tattoos among people of every age and profession, it has been accepted in professional field also. With this, it seems that more employers are getting comfortable with the idea of employee ink.
The Huffington Post reported that the sandwich chain Jimmy John’s – popular for its restrictive dress code that commands the color of the soles of workers’ shoes and the hues of their khakis-would be loosening its policies about tattoos.
“A little ink is OK, as long as it’s tasteful and not on the face or throat,” according to a published memo by the sandwich maker. “No sex, drugs or profanity please! If your mom wouldn’t approve, better cover ’em up.”
This is similar to the approach that numerous other large employers have just taken because they make changes to their rules on tattoos. PetSmart and Starbucks made somewhat similar policy last year to allow for “appropriate” tattoos. Plus, even the U.S. Army relaxed its rules earlier this year.
There’s little query workers are fond of body ink these days, and employers may be trying to respond. According to a study by the Pew Research Center in 2010, it was found that nearly 40 percent of millennials have tattoos, and nearly half of the ones who have them sport between two and five.
It could also be that, as more people with tattoos have increased in the corporate sectors, they’re supporting policies that are ink-friendly.
There is “definitely” a loosening of limitations in the restaurant industry, said Brian Elzweig, a law professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi who has studied the legal issues around tattoos in the workplace. “I think what’s been happening is more and more people who have tattoos are getting into levels of management, and whether they’re visible or not, they have a much more lenient attitude“, he says.
Retailers and fast-food companies could also be experiencing the crisis of a tighter labor market, and usually loosening up their dress codes overall, recognizing that too many restrictions can get in the way of finding the most qualified workers.
In June, Wal-Mart began giving employers a little more options in the pants they wear at work. Abercrombie & Fitch also made changes to its well-known dress code boundations earlier this year.
The decision at Jimmy John’s (which the company would not yet confirm to The Washington Post) may partially have been the outcome of a petition begun on the website Coworker.org that was signed by nearly 9,000 people, that includes 4,600 who identified as Jimmy John’s worker. It was inspired by a similar campaign by Starbucks workers, who succeeded last October in encouraging the coffee chain to change its policy to allow visible tattoos. “Letting us express our individuality isn’t really much to ask for,” the campaign to Jimmy John’s declared.
But even if more companies are loosening tattoo limitations, youngster still-probably wisely-have some professional concerns about it. A recent University of Tampa study found that 86 percent of students surveyed thought those who have visible tattoos will have a tough time getting a job.
Nearly the same amount said that if they were to get a tattoo, they would consider getting one where they can hide it.
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