LIEB BLOG

Legal Media Analysts

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Tattoo Stigma Discrimination - Maybe It's Too Woke?

The New York City Council introduced a bill to prohibit discrimination against people based on their tattoos. Are they taking discrimination law too far? 


Yes, it's true that employers ban tattoos at the workplace all the time. Yes, there is a stigma attached to those with tattoos. Yes, that stigma is not associated with actual data of lower work quality or effort and it's therefore, wrong. However, unlike sex, religion, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, race, and the rest of the protected classes in New York City, getting a tattoo is a personal choice. Or is it? Don't some religions endorse tattoos (e.g., Buddhism and Hinduism) and isn't tattoo discrimination therefore religious discrimination? But, wouldn't those with religious tattoos already have a discrimination claim if they were denied employment and not need this bill? 


What do you think? Do you think tattoos should be a protected class giving rise to a discrimination lawsuit if someone is denied work because of their tattoo?


Shouldn't jobs be based on work quality alone? Or, shouldn't a boss have some say in who works for the company outside of qualifications? 


This is a tough one.