Ask HR: Can We Require Employees to Cover Tattoos?
Ask HR: Can We Require Employees to Cover Tattoos?

Ask HR: Can We Require Employees to Cover Tattoos?

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, one of your employees stumps you with a question you haven’t heard before. The pros at the HR Support Center really have heard it all—at least, until tomorrow.

Here is a recent question and expert advice from HR On-Demand, one of the features available to HR Support Center subscribers.

Question:
An employee recently got a tattoo on her arm. Can I require her to wear long sleeves at work to cover it?

Answer from Aimee, HR Pro:
I recommend following your written dress code policy on this matter. If your dress code policy does not address covering visible tattoos, or do so in a way you like, consider revising it. You may decide to prohibit visible tattoos entirely or you may simply prohibit tattoos that are offensive, distracting, inappropriate, or over a certain size. The policy could even be something general like, “Tattoos must be appropriate and in keeping with a professional image.”

Tattoo policies usually depend on the culture of the workplace. Some employers avoid restrictive dress codes because they can negatively affect morale and may drive away impressive job candidates. Other employers prefer a strict dress code to maintain a certain company image.

Whatever you decide, your policy and practice must allow for religious accommodations. Some religions do not permit the covering of tattoos or other religious items, and you should be prepared to make exceptions.

When you’ve decided on a policy, be sure to communicate your reasons to employees and apply the policy consistently.

Aimee is a recognized leader in the field of Human Resources. Aimee was previously the Global Director for the Board of Directors of the local chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. Previously, she was the HR Director and Global HR and Organizational Effectiveness Adviser for Mercy Corps, an international humanitarian relief and development organization, and worked as an HR consultant to small and mid-sized companies.

More Ask HR:
What Should We Do If Our Employee Won't Sign a Written Warning?
Can a Worker Be Both an Employee and an Independent Contractor?
Can a Bee Sting Warrant a Workers' Compensation Claim?

_This Q&A content is taken straight from the experts at HR Support Center. Click here to learn more about HR Support Center and HR On-Demand; we’d also love the chance to explain in person

More to Discover

How to Avoid Payroll Tax Penalties in 2019

How to Avoid Payroll Tax Penalties in 2019

Employment laws are getting more complex and businesses are finding it harder to remain compliant. According to the IRS, 40% of small and medium-sized businesses are fined each year for failing to meet payroll tax regulations. These organizations are at risk because they tend to run payroll through manual processes and disconnected software, leading to miscalculations, incorrect filings and late withholdings deposits. If you’re a business leader and want to avoid fines and penalties, here’s what you need to know. What Payroll Taxes Are You Required to Pay? State and federal taxes include: Federal unemployment taxes: Employers must pay this tax based on the gross pay of all employees. These taxes can either be paid quarterly or annually...

Is Your Time and Attendance Solution Delivering Results?

Is Your Time and Attendance Solution Delivering Results?

Not all time and attendance solutions are created equal. Perhaps you’re manually keeping track of time cards or your automated time and attendance system isn’t living up to your expectations. Either way, it might be time to make a change. Modern time and attendance software should deliver results—mainly savings and accuracy—for any human resources department. Accurate Time Tracking Leads To Labor Cost Savings In any organization, employees usually are both the largest expense and the largest asset. Maintaining control of labor costs is critical to the overall bottom line and it all starts with accurate time tracking. According to the American Payroll Association (APA), organizations can experience anywhere between a 1% and 7% clerical...

2019 Compliance Changes

2019 Compliance Changes

It’s critical that you’re aware of all the tax changes that could affect your organization in 2019. This session will include frequently asked questions, an overview of federal and state withholding updates and trends we are seeing in areas of Tax and ACA compliance. Speakers: Arlene Baker and James Schwantes Arlene Baker is a Senior Compliance Analyst with over 40 years of payroll and tax experience. She’s a member of the National Payroll Reporting Consortium focusing on IRS compliance, and she’s been a member of the national and local APA for 25 years. In 2003, Arlene was awarded the Ohio Payroll Professional of the Year award. James Schwantes is a Compliance Analyst with a legal and tax background. Prior to working at Paycor in the...

Proposed Department of Labor Rule to Update Regular Rate Requirements

Proposed Department of Labor Rule to Update Regular Rate Requirements

In late March, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule to clarify and update the regulations governing the regular rate requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unless exempt, an employee’s regular rate of pay is used to determine how much he or she should be paid for working overtime. The FLSA generally requires overtime pay of at least 1.5 times the regular rate for hours worked past 40 hours per week. The proposed rule details what forms of payment employers can exclude when determining an employee’s regular rate of pay. The cost of the following items would no longer apply: Tuition programs Discretionary bonuses Payment for unused paid leave Wellness programs, fitness classes, gym access, onsite...