I have been at my current job for 6 months. In that time I have never been asked to cover my tattoos. A new manager has been hired but the management above her remain the same. This new manager is threatening to fire me if I don't cover them up but this has never been an issue until now and there is nothing in the employee policies handbook that states they need to be covered.
Yes they can. Cover them up or find another job.
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Yes. Almost all workers in the United States are employed "at will," which means the employer can legally fire you at any time, and for any reason or no reason at all. Since they can fire you for no reason at all, it stands to reason that they can also fire you for refusing to cover up your tattoos.
Requiring employees to cover up visible tattoos is a common workplace policy. If you are not willing to comply with your new manager's order, you may have to find a job elsewhere.
Texas is an employment at will state. Typically, unless an employee has an employment contract, or is employed under a collective bargaining agreement through a union, the employer can modify or terminate the employment at any time with or without cause for any non-discriminatory reason. However, an employer generally cannot alter or terminate employment for prohibited discriminatory reasons (such as racial discrimination), or in retaliation for certain protected actions (such as whistle-blowing). The description of the situation which you have provided does not include the elements of prohibited discrimination. Additionally, employers are not required to treat all employees the same, so long as the disparate treatment is not part of prohibited discrimination or retaliation (as described above).
For what it's worth, many employers forbid visible tattoos.
Your question has been answered as a courtesy. This is not paid legal advice. Nothing in this communication is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Unless expressly stated otherwise, nothing contained in this message should be construed as a digital or electronic signature, nor is it intended to reflect an intention to make an agreement by electronic means.
Texas, like almost every other state, is an “at-will” employment state. That means, unless you have a contract that says otherwise (and you probably don’t), your employer can change your job title, position, pay, hours, or any of the other terms and conditions of your employment at will, provided you are paid the appropriate salary, and provided that the employer is not making the change BECAUSE OF your race, age, sex, disability, religion, or national origin.
That means your manager can terminate you for showing your tattoos, as long as he treats everyone with tattoos equally.
I'm licensed to practice law only in Indiana, so if you're in another state, I can't give you "legal" advice. My answer is simply "friendly" advice based on my experience as an attorney in Indiana, my knowledge of federal and common law, and common sense. Even if you are in Indiana, employment law questions are very fact specific, and based on the limited information you provided in your post, I can't give you legal advice, and my answer is intended as general information only. It doesn't create an attorney-client relationship.
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