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Topic: Do you believe employers should be able to ban visible body art, including piercings and facial hair, in the workplace? What parameters, if any, should be applied to the ban of visible body art? What perceptions are made about people when visible body art is banned? (Note: Consider perceptions made about both the potential employee and patrons). Does personality type contribute to this discussion? Why or why not? Be sure to reference this unit’s readings and external sources when giving examples to substantiate your position. NOTE: Be specific and ensure that you incorporate from both assigned readings and external research. Always cite your work.
Reply to Post 1 in 150-200 words
Hi Dr. Powell & Class,
Body art including tattoos, piercings, branding, and facial hair are certainly not a new phenomenon. However, they are becoming much more acceptable in the workplace as our norms change and become more common. For example, it is estimated that 36 percent of American millennials, specifically between the ages of 18-29, have at least one tattoo (Zuckerman, 2020). Body art is often used to express individualism (Langton, et al., 2016), to tell a story or as a reminder of past experiences, or to cover an unappealing part of their body. As a result, body art allows individuals to freely present themselves to the world how they so choose fit. But should employers have the right to ban body art? In my opinion, there should be no limitations to how individuals present their appearance. However, in certain workplaces it can become challenging to employ people with excess body art. For example, certain clients of a dentist’s office may feel uncomfortable speaking with a receptionist or assistant who has multiple piercings on their face. Or, meeting with a lawyer who has a dollar sign shaved into their head may send the client running for the door. The second example is a bit extreme, but it paints a picture of how the individual may be perceived by others based on how they present their appearance which may be offensive or vulgar to the viewer. Depending on the industry, employers can benefit from employing individuals with body art. For example, tattoos bring culture into work environments (CONNECTUSFUND, 2019). A workplace which is culturally diverse promotes empowerment which can lead to increased productivity and happiness. It is clear there are many pros and cons to employing people with body art.
In the workplace, employers set clear guidelines and policies for dress codes which often include references to body art. In my opinion, employers should have the freedom to set these guidelines how they choose fit, or based on the clientele they are serving. However, they should not have the right to discriminate against employees who choose to express themselves through the use of body art.
Matthew CONNECTUSFUND (2019, October 21). 14 Pros and Cons of Tattoo in the Workplace. CONNECTUSFUND. https://connectusfund.org/14-pros-and-cons-of-tattoos-in-the-workplace
Langton, N., Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2016). Organizational Behaviour: Concepts, Controversies, Applications (Seventh Canadian Edition). Toronto: Pearson.
Zuckerman, A. (2020, May 13). 38 Tattoo Statistics: 2020/2021 Industry, Trends & Demographics. CompareCamp. https://comparecamp.com/tattoo-statistics/
Reply to Post 2 150-200 words Hello class
By the employment law, whether an employee can fire employees with tattoos depends on the circumstances (Rudner, 2019). If there is a job place ordinance against abusive tattoos, and if that ordinance is considered adequate in the situations, then there could be a reason for punishment and, eventually, dismissal. Nevertheless, that is far from obvious. Notably, many employees do not have the security of work and can be sacked at any time, provided they are served with notice or are paid per their contract. Therefore they could be fired, though they might be subjected to some compensation or notice. Employers rejecting employees because they have tattoos is, in most cases, it is not legal since bias is just illegal when it is grounded on-base safeguarded by human rights law, like religion, gender, and disability. If the tattoo was a requirement of religion, that is a different case, and the person would have powerful litigation. Employers must ensure that any strategy they apply does not overstep the mandates stipulated by law.
Though views about people with body piercing and tattoos may not be accurate, these kinds of body art significantly affect the feelings and characters elicited towards such people (Milner, 2009). These mental procedures are partly elaborated by communal cognition. Overseers use one or several traits anticipated people to classify them to a mental schema. Such classification mostly leads to stereotyping of persons founded on traits expected to be typical of a particular cohort. Stereotypes are incredibly erroneous, commonly negative assumptions about partners of a squad. Nevertheless, not every negative attribute of body sculpture is inevitably incorrect.
Personality type also comes into context. Study indicates that piercings and facial hair are highly associated with extraversion, an aspect that is beneficial to jobs (Association for Psychological Science, 2014). However, such people are less likely to be given jobs where they interact with customers, such as marketing and customer service, because they will portray a poor image. Due to this contradiction (being an extravert and not suitable for extravert jobs), such people may feel harshly judged.
Association for Psychological Science. (2014). Facial Piercings Can Still Hurt Your Chances of Getting Hired. https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/minds-business/facial-piercings-can-still-hurt-your-chances-of-getting-hired.html
Milner, B., (2009). Body Art in the workplace: piercing the prejudice? Personal review, 38(6), pp. 622-640. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00483480910992247
Turner, A., (2019). Body Art and Dress codes: How much say does an Employer have? Human rights, discrimination and accommodation/ policies and procedures. https://www.rudnerlaw.ca/body-art-dress-codes/
Reply to Post 3 – 150-200 words
Every individual has their own preferences and should have a choice regarding their appearance. Employers should not be able to ban visible body art, including piercings and facial hair, in the workplace. However, if the body art portrays harmful or hateful messages, employers should have policies in place at the workplace that asks all employees to cover such type of body art. Unfortunately, there are many negative perceptions about people with visible body art. Banning the body art altogether can also give the perception that the person with the body art is either being discriminated against or doing something “wrong” as it is being banned. For example, in a study by Timming et al. (2015), they share that body art is “…indicative of stigma…” (Timming et al., 2015). Furthermore, they share that “…the extent of prejudice against body art varies by the proximity of the employee to customers…” (Timming et al., 2015). If an employee with body art is applying for a job that is frontline working with customers they are less likely to succeed as a suitable candidate according to this study.
Personality types can contribute to this discussion as well as we all have different personality traits that help shape our thoughts on such topics. Langton et al. (2019) explain how “…the Big Five personality traits predict behaviour at work… (Langton et al. 2019). The five traits shared all influence our decisions and organizational behaviour. For example, a person with high emotional stability and openness has higher positive thinking and more positive emotions, making them more receptive to change and less judgemental. Furthermore, Langton et al. (2019) share that “…satisfied employees increase customer satisfaction and loyalty…” (Langton et al. 2019). If an employee is being asked to cover unoffensive body art, it will lead to dissatisfaction and impact their productivity.
I found it interesting to learn that employers in Canada have the right not to hire a candidate based on visible body art, including tattoos or piercings, and it is not a breach of the Charter of Rights and Freedom and Human Rights Act (McKelvey & McLellan, 2016). As further shared by McKelvey & McLellan (2016), “…the only exception…is if the piercings or tattoos could be said to be part of an ethnic or tribal custom…” (McKelvey & McLellan, 2016).
Class: Were you surprised to learn that employers can base their hiring decisions on the above?
Langton, N., Robbins, S. P., Judge, T. A. (2019). Organizational behaviour: Concepts, controversies, applications (8th Canadian ed.). Pearson Canada Inc.
McKelvey, S. and McLellan, P. (2016).Can An Employer Prohibit Tattoos And Piercings? – Employee Rights/ Labour Relations – Canada. (n.d.). Www.mondaq.com. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from https://www.mondaq.com/canada/employee-rights-labour-relations/460616/can-an-employer-prohibit-tattoos-and-piercings#:~:text=The%20answer%20on%20hiring%20is
Timming, A. R., Nickson, D., Re, D., & Perrett, D. (2015). What Do You Think of My Ink? Assessing the Effects of Body Art on Employment Chances. Human Resource Management, 56(1), 133–149. https://doi.org/10.1002/hrm.21770
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