Although this might very well be a form of discrimination, it isn’t necessarily illegal discrimination. In employment law, only certain types of discrimination are prohibited (race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age (if 40 or older), disability, or genetic information). If you feel that your circumstances qualify, you must file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to preserve any Federal claims and with the Pennsylvania Human Rights Coalition (PHRC) to preserve any state discrimination claims. Generally you only have 180 days to file a claim.
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Generally, in employment at will situations, employers are free to set policies as long as they do not discriminate based on a protected category (such as age, race, sex, etc...). I don't believe your face tattoos put you in a protected category.
Employers are free to adopt policies against hiring persons with visible body modifications such as tats, piercings, etc. It is discrimination -- lawful discrimination.
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The other attorneys are correct.
I don't see that there are two tattoo policies. I see one policy that states that body tattoos are allowed but that facial tattoos are not. In many cases, visible tattoos are the problem with companies. When it comes to tattoos, you will most likely not be fired for having them, but having them may keep you from being hired. When looking for a job, it is considered wise to cover tattoos during interviews until you can see what the company policy might be. I know that this is stifling creativity, but you don't want your ink to be the focus of the interview.
As you have facial tattoos, you may face a lot of discrimination, but facial tattoos do not put you not a protected class. That being said, you may want to look for positions in companies and businesses that are considered more creative. There are some companies that would not hire anyone with a tattoo because of the company image, and there are other companies that embrace their employees' body art. Good luck!
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