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Labor & Employment

As Tattoos Enter Mainstream, Courts Uphold Employers’ Right to Ban Them

Posted Sep 25, 2008 8:13 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Tattoos and body piercing are gaining increasing acceptance, but employers have a right to ban their workers from sporting them.

In case after case, courts have found no legal right to such self-expression, the New York Times reports. The decisions come despite the new popularity of body art such as neck tattoos and facial piercing. “Suddenly it is not just retro punks and hard-core rappers who look as if they’ve tossed over any intention of ever working a straight job,” the story says.

Courts in Massachusetts and Washington are among those siding with employers, the story says. In one Massachusetts case, a court rejected the arguments of a Costco cashier who said her 11 earrings and eyebrow piercings were a form of religious expression. The woman had said she was a member of the Church of Body Modifications.

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