Tattoos In The Workplace

Can tattoos in the workplace be a cause for a lawsuit?

Find out today.

When a Tattoo Creates a Lawsuit

It’s 2020. In today’s workplace, a casual dress code, including visible piercings and tattoos, have become commonplace. Some tattoos are considered job killer tattoos. So, what happens when that casual dress code becomes a lawsuit?

Rodolfo Quiles, a former United States Marine and employee of the Union Pacific Railroad, filed a lawsuit against his employer. Specifically, Quiles stated his employer violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act following his termination after returning from a 5-month deployment. The act “…prohibits employers from demoting, firing or reducing the pay of workers because they have been on military service.”

Mr. Quiles was fired from the Union Pacific Railroad for a “military-related upper-arm tattoo that was termed obscene and threatening.”

So what should employers do to foster a relaxed and creative work environment while making sure the employees tattoos or clothing isn’t offensive to those around them?


Positive Environment for Tattoos in the Workplace

Fisher & Phillips, a law firm in Los Angeles, California, recommends that employers with relaxed dress codes to take positive measures in ensuring that employee’s ink, piercings, or clothing is not offensive.

Tamara Devitt, a managing partner at the law firm, has outlined a few measures which we will outline below:

  1. Do have (or update) your appearance and dress code policy.
  2. Don’t assume “one size fits all.”
  3. Do consider a multi-tiered approach.
  4. Don’t forget about workplace anti-discrimination laws.


A solid method in avoiding employment and/or workplace liability or discrimination is consistent enforcement of workplace policies.

Want to learn more about tattoos in the workplace? 

Get in contact with one of our tattoo artists today!


Spread the love