Despite the prevalence of body art, however, no laws currently prohibit hiring managers from discriminating against people with visible tattoos. Furthermore, companies can establish any employee policies they want: allowing any and all tattoos, prohibiting certain kinds of imagery or tattoos on certain visible body parts, or requiring all workers to cover any of their tattoos.
That said, employers should be aware negative attitudes toward tattoos look increasingly old-fashioned:
“In the U.S., most people would be comfortable seeing a person with visible tattoos serve in roles across a range of industries and professions, the Harris Poll found. The levels of comfort range from highs of 86 percent for athletes, 81 percent for IT technicians and 78 percent for chefs, to lower majorities of 59 percent each for primary school teachers and judges, and even 58 percent for presidential candidates.”
Read “What Are an Applicant’s Tattoos Telling Potential Employers?”
Still not sure how you should think about a tattooed applicant? My advice (and I’m speaking to myself here as well) is maybe don’t worry so much about it. Tattoos, like all forms of outward appearance, aren’t great indicators of a person’s character. And remember: it’s an employee’s market—why unnecessarily limit your candidate pool?
So, perhaps “live and let live” is the best policy. In the words of Jon Bovi, “it’s is my life.”
…Actually, take back everything I just said.