Originally Posted by Skylark
If you run a business, would you take a chance like that? How about keeping your workforce free of certain diseases? Is that a value to you?
i meant to answer these too.
yes, i would take a chance like that. i might keep a watchful eye, but i would take a chance on someone who seemed to have great potential for the job.
i would expect people to keep clean, keep their hands to themselves, and to have the sense to not come to work when they are coughing up anything or sneezing all over the place. other than that, why would a tattoo make me worry about disease spreading among the other employees?
the existing employees' attitude toward someone with a tattoo would concern me. in a small company, i would take their discomfort under consideration when hiring, as it is very important to have good rapport among the group. but i would definitely ask them for a good reason and simply not liking tattoos would not be a good reason. if it is a case of stupid prejudice, we should find a way for the person to learn how to deal with it. if it is an irrational fear of tattooed people, then that would definitely affect rapport. if it is a gang tattoo and makes the long-time employees feel unsafe, then maybe i would pass after considering the matter. if i had a large company, i probably would be more likely to expect the employees to suck it up and work it out. there is more leeway with assigning tasks and workspaces in a large company. if they don't like tattooed people to the point of quitting, goodbye, and hopefully the next person we hire would be more open-minded.
i think it is important to take some risks as an employer. you take them one way or another anyway, and the presence of tattoos seems rather on the trivial side. gang tattoos, less trivial, but is that REALLY all these people are talking about? and i think they can ask this question in the interview and record the answer if it is a problem. surely if it is legal to ask someone to strip to prove the absence of a gang tattoo (not just a butterfly or whatever), it is legal to simply ASK them if they have one, or if they have (had) gang affiliations. Make them sign a statement, if need be. Make lack of gang affiliation part of the contract when they are hired. Then, if it becomes an issue, fire them. No stripping necessary.
eta: p.s. ftr, i don't have any tattoos myself.