Sep201416
Starbucks Revists Its Strict Tattoo Policy
08:40 AM
slave to the needle.jpg
Seattle's Slave to the Needle Starbucks parody tee above.

It's fairly known that the Starbucks coffee chain has a strict dress code policy of no visible tattoos at any of its one trillion cafes worldwide. In fact, this past July, it was reported that Starbucks threatened to fire a Detroit-based barista for a tiny heart tattoo on her hand, allegedly telling her that she had 30 days to begin a removal process for the tattoo or she had to resign from her job. However, according the SF Gate, "in an internal e-mail this month, Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead said the company is revisiting its 'dress code, including the tattoo policy.'" Here's more from the article:

Last month the tattoo policy was challenged when Kristie Williams, a Starbucks employee from Atlanta, created a Coworker.org petition to change the rule. Williams said the long sleeves needed to cover her tattoos get in the way, especially in the summer. More than 21,652 people have signed the online petition.

Starbucks spokesman Zack Hutson said the company's review of its tattoo prohibition began before the petition. "We are always actively engaged in discussion with our partners to determine how to make their Starbucks experience better and more valuable to them," he said. "We know the dress code and tattoo policy is important to them so we are taking a fresh look at it."

Keep in mind that private employers may have a general right to institute dress code policies and make appearance-based hiring decisions, as long as the discrimination is not based on a protected class. The question is whether it's good business.



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