Tattoos Taboo in the Workplace?

Tattoos Taboo in the Workplace?

Richard Burns owns two tattoo studios, one in Lawton, and one in Wichita Falls.

"I've been around the tattoo and body piercing culture for 22 years," he explained.

In the past, his clientele have been mainly military members.

"Now, we're getting more school teachers, principals, lawyers, doctors, everybody's coming in more now for tattoos than it used to be," Burns said.

The average American office is progressively inked. According to a 2008 Harris Poll, about one third of people between the ages of 25 and 29 had a tattoo, and 25% of those thirty to 39.

And since then, Burns said those numbers are on the rise quite a bit. Instead of workers adapting to the rules of their company...

"People getting tattoos are actually forcing the employers to look at these old policies or they're going to not have employees that want to work for them," Burns said.

That scenario occurred about two years ago in Lawton. One hospital was in danger of losing one-eighth of their nursing staff because of a staff ban on tattoos. The threat of those nurses potentially leaving caused that hospital to change their rules.

Burns always suggests that you don't tattoo your hands or above the neckline, because there's a stigma there that isn't going away soon. But other than that...

"You can always find another job," Burns said, laughingly.

Dave Caulfield, Newschannel 6