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Tattoo's and employee policy Iowa

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  • Tattoo's and employee policy Iowa

    My step son has a tattoo on his forearm that says "dilligaf", his employer hired him knowing he had it and having seen it. She made no mention that he would have to cover this tattoo while in the work place. She provided him with a copy of the employee policy when he was hired. The policy states that any tattoo that is offensive or vulgar has to be covered. After working there several months, she confronted him and told him he would have to cover his tattoo. Her demeanor with the staff is less than pleasant and because this confrontation was the last straw for him (other confrontations had nothing to do with the tattoo) he finished his shift and quit.
    To my knowledge, she has no idea what the tattoo acronym stands for not to mention that if this was a problem, she should have mentioned it when he was hired.
    My question is this..... does he have any recourse since the tattoo is a acronym and technically is neither offensive or vulgar?
    I felt this situation was either harrassment or discriminitory on her part.
    Thanks for any help!

  • #2
    Q: My question is this..... does he have any recourse since the tattoo is a acronym and technically is neither offensive or vulgar?

    A: Yes, he has two choices: Cover the tattoo or get a new job.
    “Be not niggardly of what costs thee nothing, as courtesy, counsel, & countenance.”

    --Benjamin Franklin

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    • #3
      Q: Your answer is because of their employee policy? Could you elaborate?

      Q: My question is this..... does he have any recourse since the tattoo is a acronym and technically is neither offensive or vulgar?

      A: Yes, he has two choices: Cover the tattoo or get a new job.

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      • #4
        There is no law in any state which prohibits an employer from requiring a tattoo to be covered up. Therefore, it is a legal requirement and his options are to comply or find other employment. It doesn't matter what the acronym stands for and it doesn't matter whether she knew about it beforehand or not. The policy exists and he is subject to it. Nothing in the law says they have to tell him about each and every company policy prior to hire.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          Thank you both so much, I truly appreciate the help you have both provided.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by M0tega View Post
            Thank you both so much, I truly appreciate the help you have both provided.
            Tell the kid to pick another hill to die on.
            “Be not niggardly of what costs thee nothing, as courtesy, counsel, & countenance.”

            --Benjamin Franklin

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            • #7
              What exactly do you think is non-offensive about the acronym??? I find it highly offensive and in very poor taste to have displayed while at work. Acronym or not, it is rude at best. Even if she didn't know what it stood for at first, it sounds like someone clued her in and she is enforcing the policy.
              I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                What exactly do you think is non-offensive about the acronym??? I find it highly offensive and in very poor taste to have displayed while at work. Acronym or not, it is rude at best. Even if she didn't know what it stood for at first, it sounds like someone clued her in and she is enforcing the policy.
                Wanna clue me in? I have no idea what it stands for. PM only please.
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                • #9
                  I think I can explain it in public.

                  Does It Look Like I Give A Someword that starts with F.

                  A statement I find both rude and vulgar especially in a customer facing setting.

                  Tell your son to show better sense in body art.

                  By the way, how could you not find that statement offensive?
                  Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                  I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                  Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

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                  • #10
                    ah, NOW I find it offensive. I lead such a sheltered life.
                    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                    • #11
                      He works in a position where he has absolutely no contact with the public in any way shape or form, which is why I found it odd that if she knew what it stood for, she didn't say anything when she hired him.
                      I personally wish he had chosen something other than that particular tattoo, but because he was 22 when he had it done, I had no say in the matter.
                      My reasoning for saying that I didn't find it offensive is because unless you know what it stands for, how could it be offensive, its just a compilation of letters.
                      Regardless, I appreciate knowing now what the legalities of the situation are and will advise him of such.
                      Once again, I appreciate all the information provided. Thank you.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
                        ah, NOW I find it offensive. I lead such a sheltered life.
                        Well, I obviously do, too. I DO have 2 tatoos (it's a long story....just suffice it to say it was payback for my husband's spectacular golf trips) and I had to "google" the acronym to see what it was. Yeah, that's something I would be proud to sport. I'm 33 and my parents would skin me alive!
                        HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
                        How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
                        (unique up on him)
                        How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
                        (same way)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by M0tega View Post
                          He works in a position where he has absolutely no contact with the public in any way shape or form, which is why I found it odd that if she knew what it stood for, she didn't say anything when she hired him.
                          I personally wish he had chosen something other than that particular tattoo, but because he was 22 when he had it done, I had no say in the matter.
                          My reasoning for saying that I didn't find it offensive is because unless you know what it stands for, how could it be offensive, its just a compilation of letters.
                          Regardless, I appreciate knowing now what the legalities of the situation are and will advise him of such.
                          Once again, I appreciate all the information provided. Thank you.
                          By your reasoning, if an employee had a facial tattoo that said "Kill All the _____" (where we can insert any racially or culturally insensitive word in the blank) and the employer didn't know what the "BLANK" meant, they would never be able to fire that employee when they did find our the meaning of the word.

                          Which is, of course, false.

                          Your son has decided to tell the world he doesn't care. Now you are surprised when his employer returns the favor?
                          Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                          I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                          Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ok this child has 4 tattoos on his arms, and yet I get the impression that if I had only told you about the others, two being chinese symbols meaning strength and perseverence and the final one being his astrological symbol that the discussion wouldn't be as aggressive.
                            His employee policy states verbatim, "tattoos that are gang related", NONE of these tattoos are gang related.
                            When I posted earlier, I stated the policy said something to the effect of tattoos that are offensive, I found out yesterday that I misquoted this policy.

                            Although I have to admit that what you all apper to be telling me is that in your opinion if you are ignorant of something you can still somehow be offended by it. Which to me is as foolish as saying you were offended by a potato until you were educated as to what a potato was.

                            Not to mention that the post below couldnt be offensive if the blank were left blank and the person wearing the tattoo choose never to designate exactly what the blank truly means. That's my point in saying you can't be offended if you are ignorant.




                            "By your reasoning, if an employee had a facial tattoo that said "Kill All the _____" (where we can insert any racially or culturally insensitive word in the blank) and the employer didn't know what the "BLANK" meant, they would never be able to fire that employee when they did find our the meaning of the word., "
                            Last edited by M0tega; 03-31-2007, 06:54 AM.

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                            • #15
                              It doesn't make any difference. If he had a tattoo that said "I Love My Mother" and the employer required it be covered while at work, it would have to be covered while at work. And if that were offensive to people that HATE their mothers, he could require it be covered. And the employer can change the policy at any time. See?
                              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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