Starbucks Baristas Fight To Show Tattoos

Starbucks Baristas Fight To Show Tattoos

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Starbucks Baristas Fight To Show Tattoos

Starbucks barista need to keep their sleeves down if they have any tattoos. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) Starbucks baristas who’ve long been forced to hide their tattoos may soon be able to show off their ink.

In an internal email to employees last week , Starbucks said that it’s reviewing its dress code, including its long-standing policy forbidding workers from displaying their tattoos. The move comes as baristas mobilize against the coffee chain, demanding the freedom to let their tattoos be seen. A petition to overturn Starbucks’ tattoo policy has gathered nearly 23,000 signatures since Aug. 20.

Kristie Williams, a 25-year-old mother who works at a Starbucks in Atlanta, started the petition because covering her tattoo caused constant discomfort. Williams has a tattoo of her 2-year-old daughter’s name, Summer Blythe, written in cursive up her left forearm. When the air conditioner in her Starbucks went out in the middle of the Georgia summer, she had to suffer the oppressive heat in her long-sleeved shirt.

“The day I buy my first short-sleeved shirt will definitely be a great day,” said Williams. “I know personally I could work better and faster if I wasn’t sweating and fussing with my sleeves all the time at work in order to hide my tattoo.” Starbucks requires its workers to wear black or white collared or turtleneck shirts with “professional” black or khaki trousers, shorts or skirts, according to copies of the employee manual posted on the blog Starbucks Melody . Hair and nails must be kept clean. Facial hair must be neatly trimmed. Perfumes and aftershave aren’t permitted. Earrings are restricted to a maximum of two per ear, and all other piercings are banned.

In July, a Starbucks in suburban Detroit reportedly threatened to fire a five-year employee if she didn’t remove the outline of a heart tattooed on her hand, according to Fox affiliate WJBK . It is unclear whether the woman, identified only as Kayla, was fired.

Starbucks did not respond to a […]