Job Requirements: Strip and prove you have no tattoos - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-24-2008, 12:16 PM
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No, this isn't happening in the US to my knowledge. I'm told this goes on regularly throughout Central America. The reasons why are varied. News reports I find online say tattoos represent gang ties, and employers generally don't want an active (or former) gang member working for them.



The news reports didn't say anything about taking off most of one's clothes. That I heard from several Central Americans living near me. They told me if they wanted a quality job, something better than grunt work, in their home countries, part of the hiring process includes stripping down to their underwear to prove they don't have any tattoos. They said it has to do with blood contamination--employers don't want people with certain diseases communicable through dirty needles. Presumably a blood test costs more, though it would be far more reliable than requiring the applicant to remove clothing.



Part of me thinks this is unnecessarily humiliating for applicants, and it should be abolished especially since lack of tattoos doesn't prove a lack of disease. Another part of me remembers the physical exams I experienced as part of the hiring process to work in nursing homes in the US. Although I wore a hospital gown and wasn't forced to strip to my underwear, it might be similar.



What do you think? Is it important to give former gang members a second, third, or fourth chance? 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?



Please note, I'd rather this didn't devolve into an immigration debate or a this vs. that country debate.

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#2 Old 09-24-2008, 12:36 PM
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Stripping down for employers to prove you don't have tattoos that may cause alarm for potential disease doesn't make any sense. However, being concerned about employing someone because of gang related tattoos is a far more touchy subject. Do people who no longer affiliate with gangs deserve a second chance? Maybe, especially if their role was minor. The problem is you don't know the extent of ones involvement with a gang, their reasons for joining, or what crimes they've committed. People fear the worst by nature and if you're past is tied to gang activity they're going to assume a lot of horrible things.
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#3 Old 09-25-2008, 08:49 AM
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I moved this thread from the Heap because it either wasn't controversial enough, or people want to debate presidential politics, or something. Maybe more people who would like to comment will see it here.

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#4 Old 09-25-2008, 06:40 PM
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That is just ridiculous!

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#5 Old 09-25-2008, 06:47 PM
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They do this in the US too. I remember applying to be a porn star and they wanted me to strip before making a decision. I was so offended, I said I'm not doing that, I have morals and ethics you know! Then I stormed out. I never got a call back for a second interview
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#6 Old 09-25-2008, 06:48 PM
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i fail to see how the presence of tattoos, in itself, affects job ability or performance.



yes, i think people should be given a second chance. if they need it, they should find a third or fourth chance, although they might not get it from the same people who gave them the second one. related to that, how does having a tattoo mean that a person is definitely part of a gang. now, if they don't want someone with a certain type of tattoo because it has been proven to be related to a gang, that might be something to ponder for certain jobs. if it is even legal. is it really legal to do this?



i do not agree with urine testing, blood testing, or strip requests as part of the hiring process unless there is some reason it is actually specifically related to the job.

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#7 Old 09-25-2008, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

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.

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#8 Old 09-25-2008, 07:07 PM
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I've always had a belief that if a person wants to do every drug known to man on the off hours -- I don't care what they do as long as they still do their job, and it doesn't carry over into their job (with some job exceptions of course). Likewise, depending on the job of course, I wouldn't care what disease they had as long as it wasn't spreadable by touch or by air ---- with the common types of things taken into account such as likelihood of blood contact, food contact, etc (i.e. I wouldn't hire them in the food service industry if possible through legal reasons, etc).



But with gang things... I'd be more likely to just go by a police report for current activities if I was worried about it. As soon as gangs realize what's going on -- they'll just do something that's not as noticeable (yet is to other gangs). Going by tatoos for one reason or another is extremely poor in making a decision for something.
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#9 Old 09-25-2008, 07:13 PM
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In the US people get tattoos for other reasons, the main reason I think is that they like body art and want to invest some money in it. I have a friend with a koi pond all over his body. I think it is quite nice. He has it placed so he can wear business clothing without anyone seeing it. I think the stats say that quite a large majority of both men and women in their 20's have tattoos, so knowing this, as an employer I would think it was a fools errand to try to hang a nefarious cause or "reason" to tattoos. What they do in other countries is not up to me. I think looks are a major distraction, and should not be as important as they seem to be. Oh well. I'm just one person with a dream...
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#10 Old 09-26-2008, 10:57 AM
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[QUOTE=Gita]In the US people get tattoos for other reasons, the main reason I think is that they like body art and want to invest some money in it. QUOTE]



Totally! Before my daughters were born I had to keep my pieces covered and wear long sleves all the time ( I'm a stay at home dad now). I think attitudes are changing but even in a pretty openminded paret of the country I still had to cover up at work.
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#11 Old 09-26-2008, 11:11 AM
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If they leave their underwear on then what's the big deal? You have to do the same thing when you go to the doctor.

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#12 Old 09-28-2008, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicEarth View Post

If they leave their underwear on then what's the big deal? You have to do the same thing when you go to the doctor.

it's a different relationship, though. also, a dr doesn't generally refuse to treat you based on whether or not you have a tattoo. plus, it may be necessary for a dr to get closer to your skin - even touch you - whereas a prospective employer doesn't usually have a need to touch someone s/he is considering for hire. if you're not going to be working in your underwear, what does the prospective employer need to see it (and the skin around or under it) for? seems like an unnecessary invasion of privacy to me.

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