Are you willing to take the risk?

Brittney Trojanowski

Tackling tattoos in the workplace

Surprisingly, some Kent State students are pretty clean. Of tattoos, that is.

As getting a tattoo becomes more and more popular with our generation, employers have started to frown upon hiring people with visible tattoos.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains that companies have the right to enforce dress codes in the workplace; this includes the ability to deny or fire an employee with visible tattoos.

“I think the person that is going to have a hard time is the more extreme cases, like tattoos on the face, neck and hands,” Kelley Stillwagon, career counselor from Career Services said.

Some major chains such as, Walmart, Borders and Ford Motor Company do allow their employees to have tattoos, as long as they are not offensive.

“I actually just withdrew from all of my classes and got a tattoo apprenticeship,” former Kent sophomore Audrey Smart said. “My decision definitely had a lot to do with whether I would be able to find a job in the future.”

Smart said she had to rule out so many jobs, such as retail and food service, because of her tattoos and body piercings. She is currently sporting tattoos on the inside of each her ankle, one on her left shoulder and a chest piece that covers most of her chest.

“There has been somewhat of a problem with a job that I had about the tattoo of a star behind my ear, I had to cover it with a Band-Aid,” freshman Katie Discerni said. “I remember one time I forgot about it because I was running a little late and I ended up getting yelled at for it.”

Even tattooists will try to talk you out of getting a tattoo if they think it will hinder you in the future in any way.

Smokin’ Tattooz owner Jeremy Cales has tattoos running down both of his arms, but says he won’t get his hands tattooed because he also works at a fireworks shop and wants to keep a sort of professionalism when working with other clients.

“I think students need to think about the consequences to getting tattoos and how it will affect them getting a job,” Stillwagon said.

Contact Brittney Trojanowski at [email protected].