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Can my employer do this?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by d8g3jdh, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Here's the deal:

    I work part-time at a local toy store. The job is primarily helping customers, but I also work cash and close up shop. Last Saturday I got my eyebrow pierced, a silver stud, nothing more. When I got to work today I was told that they don't allow employees to wear piercings besides the ear. Because I just got it I can't take the piercing out yet, and it must remain in for a few months. In the meantime, whenever I go to work they want me to wear a band aid over my eyebrow. I complied today because the boss wasn't in, and the assistant manager was just heading out the door. This brings me to my questions:

    -Can they do this? Do they have the ability to tell me that I am not allowed to have a piercing? Or are there laws giving me workplace rights over my body?

    -Is this attitude towards piercings the norm or the exception? I will now be seeking alternative employment anyways, since such an attitude really ticks me off, but I want to know what to expect. Obviously it varies depending on the establishment, but I'm thinking that this toy store is the exception because it is heavily based on customer service and they are insistent on maintaining their image. But if I start dropping off resumes to other part-time/summer work locations (think video stores, restaurants, maybe fast-food but I hope not, etc) will they have a problem with the piercing as well?

    This whole thing has me really steamed :mad: , and if I didn't need the money I would have simply quit right then (I almost did anyways). Anyone have any advice? Thoughts?
  2. Hey Scott

    Most employers have a dress code for their staff. In my last job, I worked as a food and beverage manager for a large hotel chain. We gave our employee's a handbook when they started and piercings were a no-no.

    A dress code is part of a companies image, and its staff need to project the image the company is seeking.

    In times of low unemployment, a company may relax the rules a little just to get good staff, but mostly, its their right to demand their staff dress to the standards they expect.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    I would imagine he has every right to do so.
  4. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Ya, I had a feeling this was the case. I've just been googling around and most of the articles state that it's up to the employer. Crapola.

    I'd still like to hear people's thoughts and contributions though!
  5. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    As someone who worked in Retail mgmt. in a past life, retail stores and restaruants along with other businesses tend to have dress codes. As a rule the larger the company, the more detailed the rules. Their theory being that anyone working with the public should have a conservitive (not in the political sense) appearence so as not to intimidate or draw undue attention to themselves. Usually these rules are spelled out in a company handbook. The only time it can be of questionable legality is when the rules are applied unevenly and their is some form of discrimination.

    My own opinion is if you want to get a job in the corporate America, you should prepare to look and talk like corporate America. Things like using gutter slang or obscene language or having a bunch of piercings may be OK at a skateborad shop, but these things will deffinatley limit job opportunities. Maybe you should start looking in a field where that kind of thing is encouraged. For instance if you showed up for a job interview at a Skateboard park in a suit, you probably wouldn't get hired. The reverse is also true, boarding attire would probably not get you hired at a Wall Street brokarage firm.
  6. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    It's perfectly within their rights. You don't have a "right" to work there and appear however you want. You think you have it bad? I can't have any piercings, including ears (I had to take my earring out when I got hired) my sideburns can't extend below my earlobes, my hair can't extend more than halfway over my ear or over my collar (which I violate with regularity). I wasn't allowed to wear a beard until a few years ago.
  7. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    An employer has the right to dictate a dress code, so they have the right to tell you that you can't look like a pincushion at work. :)

    Best find another job. Congrats on the face-piercing.
  8. Just like everyone else said, the store management can set whatever dress code they want. It's unfortunate that they didn't make their code clear before you got the piercing.
  9. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Fight the man, or ... uh ... something.
  10. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yep, they can do it. It's the sucky part of working retail, but as long as your in their employment, they can tell you how to dress and what to look like or you can be terminated if you're given proper warning.
  11. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Wow, you're right! that sucks.

    Ah well, that's too bad but what are you going to do? Just annoys me in this case when I consider mine to be very tasteful, and not a mere "pincushion" as you old fogies may think. ;)

    But I'm pretty sure there used to be someone working there with a nose piercing. Also, I know the president of the corporation, so maybe I'll just run it by him. I could fight the man, but...meh.

    Worst part is, I'll bet it was in the employee manual I got when I started there. But man, this is a part time job! That thing was huge, screw that. Oh well. ;)
  12. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Yeah..it sucks, but it's life. For the record, as an old fogie, I don't have any problems with eyebrow piercings, etc. They don't bother me in the least (although I'm NOT a fan of my daughter's stretched earlobes).
  13. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    If I were you I'd be glad the employer's gonna get away with putting a band-aid over it.
  14. Some employers will allow you to conceal the piercing - ask you if you put a band-aid over it. If not... just take it out. Re-pierce it when you have a cooler job!

    Good luck!

    (EDIT) Apparently this has been covered? I guess I missed it, lol.
  15. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Never! I am young, and must take as much as possible for granted! Mwahahahhahahaha!

    (That's a joke)

    Good to hear Cheeze, and I'm with you on the whole stretched earlobe thing, that's creepy. But there's a fine line between tasteful and weird, especially when it comes to body mutilation.
  16. giantjerk


    Jan 18, 2003
    Allen, TX
    I'll weigh in here. Yes, your employer, under Candadian law, can dictate a dress code that would includes or preclude piercings, hair color, length, etc.

    With that said, whether an eyebrow piercing is tasteful or not depends upon the viewpoint of the individual. My father once told me "never get a tattoo where a Judge can see it." It took me a long time to understand that he didn't mean "Judge" in the literal sense of a courtroom Judge, he meant anyone that would or could "judge" me based solely on an outward physical appearance of my body.

    I work a very white collar, corporate job with a very large and well known employer. We have a very diverse workforce and a few very liberal policies. However, I know in my heart of hearts that I would be perceived differently and probably treated differently if my employer knew that I have several, large tattoos on my upper body. I got them as an adult and they are the purest expression of who I am as an individual but I was careful in their placement so not as to jeopardize my ability to earn a good income and provide for my family.

    My point is that you can be who you want and you can do what ever you want to your body, what you cannot do is force someone else to accept your choices.
  17. playmybass


    Mar 28, 2004
    Tucson, Az
    how big are they stretched?
  18. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    They can require whatever they damned well please, especially because they are private sector, as long as it's not discriminating against you on the basis of age, race, gender, etc.

    Unfortunately, the law has not advanced to the stage where "piercing" is a protected class.
  19. The only way you could ever hope to fight this is by demonstrating that this was a code that was largely ignored by the managment, and that you were singled out for harassment.

    But I doubt this has happened. This, unfortunately, is the real world, and just about everywhere you go, they want the "clean cut" look. Hot Topic? No. Guitar Center? To a point, no. But some version of Toys R Us? Yeah. If you want to be able to wear piercings or have major tatoo-age, you need to work for someplace where that kind of thing is EXPECTED by the customers. Other than that, it won't fly in the corporate world.

    Rock on
  20. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Suck it up, princess. My dress code for my part-time job is pretty similar to Cheeze's. I think you'll survive with a band-aid for a while.

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