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Should Tattoos Be Allowed in the Workplace?

See How Corporate Policies About Tattoos Affect Hiring, Retention

Maybe it’s a tribal arm band, orchids on the lower back playing peek-a-boo with coworkers, or—gulp!—they’re wearing it on their face a la Mike Tyson. But even if it’s that cute little leprechaun on their ankle, our latest survey results show visible tattoos at work could have a negative effect on your employees' pot of gold.

A recent study from the Pew Research Center found nearly 40% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo, and body piercings are also a growing means of self-expression among people in this age group. In a perfect world we would all be judged solely on the merit of our work. But if the 2,675 people we surveyed are any indication, there is a lot more going on when it comes to performance evaluations, raises, promotions, and making character assumptions about people based on their appearance.

But who has the tattoos, what do people find objectionable about them, and to what extent? The results might surprise you.

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