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HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Are tattoos still a "kiss of death" in today’s workplace?
Although one in five Americans now has a tattoo , a 2013 report by researcher Andrew Timming suggests visible body art continues to hold a stigma in offices across the world. But John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said more companies are relaxing their tattoo policies and having ink might even be a prerequisite for some jobs.
A few weeks after a barista claimed her boss at Starbucks told her to have a small tattoo on her thumb removed, the coffee company announced it is taking another look at its strict no visible tattoo policy. You can find a list of body art friendly businesses here.
We talked with a handful of tattooed residents, artists and employers about their experiences with body art at work.
How many and what kind of tattoos do you have?
I have about 15 tattoos, almost all science fiction themed. Ray Bradbury is my favorite author, so they’re mostly cover art from his books.
— Patricia Forrest, senior industrial designer
I currently have nine tattoos, which vary from realism to sci-fi. A piano, mic, sugar skull girl, owl, moon, and a Star Wars imperial emblem with tie fighters flying through space.
— Justin Reynolds, software engineer I don’t really count anymore. I have an eclectic blend of sugar skulls, snails, snakes, bumblebees, roses, hearts, zombie chicks and vampire girls. — Brian Seabolt, regional marketing manager Nine tattoos and a half arm sleeve. — Carrie Talley, phlebotomist Have you ever faced discrimination in the workplace or been turned away from a job because of your tattoos? Reynolds : Luckily, I don’t think I’ve been turned down because of my tattoos. I like to think it’s some other reason if it does happen. I can always cover my ink by wearing long […]