Beauty Is In The Eyes Of The Beholder: The Fight Against Appearance Based Workplace Discrimination

1701 WordsJun 16, 20187 Pages
Discrimination happens all around us, and in many different forms. When it comes to being employed, there are laws in place to protect us against certain methods of discrimination. According to a website used by many lawyers, businesses, and individuals, discrimination is “Unfair treatment or denial of normal privileges to persons because of their race, age, sex, nationality or religion” (“Discrimination”). However, there is nothing specifically to protect us when it comes to our appearance. As children in the U.S., we are raised with a certain idea of what being attractive is. People who are overweight, have tattoos, or even body piercings are usually perceived as not being attractive or are less qualified based on looks alone. Workplace…show more content…
Many people applying for jobs have body art or tattoos that are visible. As the law stands now, an employer has the right to discriminate against an individual who is adorned with any body modifications. Business professors of law from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Elzweig and Peeples, point out that, “Tattoos and piercings are considered to be mutable (alterable) characteristics; therefore, they do not automatically receive any special legal protection’” (Elzweig and Peeples 14). They also note that “the number of people who have tattoos has increased significantly and continues to rise” (13). Since tattoos and other body modifications, such as piercings, are becoming more commonplace, companies will have to be more specific when it comes to dress codes when applicants are going through the hiring process. Their research states “while courts consistently uphold dress codes that include limiting tattoos and body piercings, limitations may be harder to enforce as these practices become more mainstream” (19). A question asked by Forbes Magazine contributing author, Rachel Hennessey, inquires “as the number of inked America grows, is the traditional assumption that tattoos and jobs don’t mix really true in 2013?” (Hennessey). If this trend of having body art and modification continues to be more widely accepted, then our country should have an amendment to the current laws offering

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