The Tattoos and Body Piercings

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Eichenlaub, Richard
HRMN 362

The article I have chosen is Tattoos and Body Piercings: New Terrain for Employers and Courts by Jon D. Bible. It can be found in the fall 2010 Labor Law Journal Volume 61 issue 3 pages 109-122.
The author is a professor of business at the College of Business Administration at Texas State University. Based on his background, I expect the author’s presentation to be fair and unbiased.
The introduction starts by discussing the possible negative effect of employees’ tattoos and piercings could have on business and the stances an employer may take on the issue. The article will focus on employer actions in taking a limiting stance on tattoos and piercing, employee defenses for defying employer on this subject, and the developments in litigation on the subject.

The next section discussed decisions against the plaintiffs starting with four cases based on constitutional claims. The first case discussed is Riggs vs. City of Fort Worth, decided by a federal district court in 2002. In this case Riggs a police officer assigned to a bicycle unit was order by the Chief of Police wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to cover his tattoos. Riggs' tattoos included a Celtic tribal band, a Celtic design with his wife's name, a mermaid, his family crest, the cartoon character Jessica Rabbit, and a 2' X 2' full-color depiction of St. Michael spearing Satan. Riggs was of Celtic descent and claimed he was being singled out because of his race, national origin, sex, and statements of expression, and denied his equal protection rights because the 15 other tattooed officers in the department were not subject to the same clothing requirement. He also claimed the order was in retaliation for towing the mayor's car, which occurred 27 days before the order.

The court decided against the plaintiff on both counts. The discrimination claim was denied because some of the other officers not required the same dress code were white and male. He also...
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