The Tattoo Taboo

April 24, 2015 – In The News
Philadelphia Business Journal

Steven K. Ludwig was quoted in the Philadelphia Business Journal article,The Tattoo Taboo.” Full text can be found in the April 24, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is noted below.

Notably, about 42 percent of American adults have tattoos. In the workplace, the legalities regarding discrimination on these types of body modifications are sometimes complicated.

Although employees are not technically protected from getting fired on the basis of tattoos or piercings, there are some exceptions.

Steven K. Ludwig states that, “The question then becomes, ‘Is there an obligation from the employer to accommodate the religion, and can the employer prove it’s an undue hardship?’”

Employers are allowed to have rules against tattoos, secular or not, but they must have business justification, Ludwig elaborates. “There’s no law that says it has to be written down,” he says. However, he stressed the importance of putting such rules in writing in order to form a better argument if problems arise.

In general, it is beneficial to think before getting a tattoo/piercing since employers can and often do discriminate based on such factors.