St Louis, MO asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Employment Law for Missouri

Q: can a job not hire a person based off a tattoo when their company polices dont say anything about tattoo

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In the United States, companies generally have the discretion to set their own dress code and appearance policies, which can include restrictions on visible tattoos. However, if a company does not have a specific policy regarding tattoos, making a hiring decision solely based on a person's tattoo could potentially be viewed as arbitrary, especially if the tattoo is not offensive or inappropriate.

It's important to note that unless the tattoo is connected to a protected class under anti-discrimination laws (such as religious symbols), there might be limited legal recourse. Employment in most U.S. states is "at-will," meaning employers can make hiring decisions based on a wide range of factors, as long as they don't violate specific anti-discrimination laws.

If you feel that you have been unfairly denied a job opportunity because of your tattoo and it relates to a protected class, you may want to consult with a legal professional. They can provide advice based on the specifics of your situation and the relevant laws in your state.

Remember, each case is unique, and the applicability of laws can vary based on individual circumstances. Seeking professional legal advice is the best way to understand your rights and options in such situations.

A: Unless the tattoos are indicative of religious or ethnic discrimination, a company can generally determine whether to hire a job applicant based on tattoos. Having a tattoo is not a "protected class" subject to anti-discrimination laws.

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