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Religion Vs. Company Policy , opinions?

I work in a local, private hospital that has re written it's dress code policy.

One "enforcement" in particular has been bothering me. The policy states that all body piercings and tattoos must be covered or removed for the sake of "professionalism"

This includes those who have them for a religious purpose, such as hindu's who carry the nose piercings. From what I understand, they arn't allowed to take them out or cover them up?

Although I am religious, I have a nose ring but mine is in for more of a spiritual reason.

Legally, can they enforce this? And do you think it's right?

My feeling on this is, if people have to do that, then why not have the german baptists take off their hats and make them wear scrub pants and proper uniform? If it has nothing to do with safety, and it is for the sake of being professional.

Why not have the middle eastern women take off their head dress, if it is for the sake of professionalism?

It just feels like they are targeting and I don't like it at all.



Asked by October_Rayne at 5:20 PM on Jan. 27, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 7 (171 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • Yes, they can legally enforce it. Employers are not required to adhere to the beliefs and practices of employees. Anti-discrimination laws only stop them from refusing to hire or to fire based on religious beliefs. However, if your beliefs go against their policies they DO have the option to fire you for not complying, as long as they also fire those who do not comply for non-religious reasons as well.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 5:29 PM on Jan. 27, 2011

  • I expect if an employee could provide proof of their membership in a house of worship that has clear reasons for those piercings, that are well documented, they would be allowed. Other than that, yes they can enforce it. No one is forcing you to work there. You are free to look for a job that will let you wear your nose ring.

    Answer by Marwill at 5:25 PM on Jan. 27, 2011

  • I have no problem with a business having a dress code that says no tats or body piercing can be visible but it should have been done prior to hiring people.

    Answer by ria7 at 5:24 PM on Jan. 27, 2011

  • I have no problem with companies having dress codes. What type of business is it? If they would allow a stud instead of a nose ring, that may be a good compromise. I am a nurse, and most hospitals require all staff involved in patient care to cover tattoos and remove piercings. If I have a problem with that, I need to look for work somewhere else. That's just the way it is.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 5:31 PM on Jan. 27, 2011

  • It is enforceable. You always have the choice to oppose it in civil court.

    but, if you signed an employee agreement after being provided the code of conduct that stated this prior, you have no case or argument.


    Answer by jewjewbee at 7:59 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I would discuss it with your manager and see what you can get away with. For example with the nose piercing perhaps wearing a small stud would suffice as opposed to the ring as there are some religions that do body pierce. Sort of like a compromise without going against your beliefs etc.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 5:23 PM on Jan. 27, 2011

  • If you really like the job, I say get a clear plastic stud. They're practically invisible and you don't have to worry about your piercing closing up.

    Answer by paganmom05 at 10:47 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • If you like your job,your position in life i suggest you realize that your paycheck is more important than a nose ring.For whatever spiritual reason you wear it,it is personal.and take it out.Jobs are so hard to find now and good ones even harder.So will it be your spiritual nose ring or a good paying job???There will be at least 4 or 5 waiting to take your place.Get real,You are just as wonderful with it in as out.NBD

    Answer by grismelda at 12:29 PM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • While I agree with Marwill I also think that suddenly changing the policy is a little different. My job we are not allowed to have anything more then 1 stud earring in and no visible tattoos or other piercings or even necklaces or rings with stones (work with food and it is a contamination hazard). We all were made aware of this BEFORE we were hired and had the right to not work there if we didn't want to.

    Answer by aeneva at 5:31 PM on Jan. 27, 2011

  • They hired you knowing you wear a nose ring. I don't see how they can now fire you for wearing a nose ring. I don't know how the law works concerning that.

    Answer by popzaroo at 10:41 PM on Jan. 27, 2011