Developing a Reasonable Policy
I like the word “reasonable" here, as some employers actually encourage tattoos. According to a story for an ABC affiliate, WAPT in California by reporter Christine Mlodzik, some companies such as Whole Foods encourage freedom of expression and “allow team leaders to write their own dress code"--and that also means policies on tattoos.
Still, the more conservative companies such as Disney and Sea World (more family venues) don’t stop employees from having or obtaining tattoos, but they must be covered up while at the workplace. If tattoos are in an area impossible to cover with clothing, opaque makeup may be used.
Even the armed forces only allow tattoos if they can be covered up via the uniform and don’t cover more than 25 percent of the body. Interestingly, my son-in-law in the Air Force says the government owns his body and he can’t even get a sunburn—something I don’t really believe because the last time I checked the Air Force was part of the US Armed Forces.
So, first you have to determine the type of work atmosphere that will be comfortable to both your employees and your clients—especially your clients, as some people are offended by tattoos of the off-color nature or those with offensive phrases.
Next, it’s time to come up with a reasonable policy on tattoos in the workplace.