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Tattoo Policies

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Reviewed Date: January 03, 2017

Original Author: 
Stokes, Richard
Date of Material: 
Dec 17, 2014

Personnel--Laws and regulations

Tattoo Policies

Nineteen cities responded to a survey asking whether they have a policy regarding tattoos in the workplace; several cities shared their policies.

Knowledgebase-Tattoo PoliciesTattoo Policies
Survey conducted by Richard Stokes

Nineteen cities responded to a survey asking whether they have a policy regarding tattoos in the workplace. Several cities shared their policies.

Morristown – No
Memphis Housing – Yes
Mt. Juliet – Yes
Farragut – Yes
Memphis – No
LaVergne – No
Brentwood – Yes
Franklin – No
Murfreesboro – No
Cookeville – No
Dyersburg – No
Columbia – Yes (police only)
Nashville Housing – No
Savannah – No
Gallatin – No
Portland – No
Sparta – No
Lawrenceburg – No
Centerville - No

Memphis Housing  - Memphis Housing Authority addresses the tattoo issue in the Personal Appearance section of the Employee Handbook.  It states, “Visible excessive tattoos and similar body art must be covered during business hours”.

Mt. Juliet - Dress Code Guidelines
1.         Clothing should be worn and fit in such a manner that it does not expose the abdomen, chest or buttocks areas.
2.         Clothing should be free of sexually related references, foul language, or messages that suggest or promote the use of illegal drugs or alcohol.
3.         Body piercing jewelry will only be worn on the ear. No other areas of the body should be visible with body piercing jewelry.
4.         Tattoos shall not be obscene and in keeping with a professional image, when possible, should not be visible.
5.         Employees may not wear halter tops, beachwear, t-shirts (without city logos), sports jerseys, shorts, spandex or other form fitting pants, work-out attire or distracting, offensive or revealing clothes on any day of the workweek.
6.         The City Manager may choose to authorize a particular day or day of the week during which casual clothing can be worn.  On designated casual days, employees may not wear any of the above stated restricted clothing with the following exceptions: Employees may wear sports jerseys or shirts, and blue jeans that are not overly worn, torn or tattered.

Brentwood: Section P.  Dress Code

          The City expects all employees to dress in a manner that is appropriate to the duties and responsibilities of their positions and conveys an image of self-pride, pride in the organization and respect for other employees and the public. Department Directors have authority to establish reasonable standards of dress in their areas of responsibility that are consistently applied to all similarly situated employees. Non-uniformed administrative and office staff shall wear traditional business-style clothing, which normally should include a necktie for men and comparable attire for women. On Fridays or days when the outside temperature for the Brentwood vicinity is predicted to exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit or days when severe winter weather conditions (snow, hail, sleet, freezing rain or temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit) are predicted for the Brentwood vicinity, then casual business attire is acceptable for such staff.  “Casual business attire” specifically does not include shorts; athletic wear such as sweat shirts, sweat pants, jogging suits and sports jerseys, printed T-shirts, sleeveless athletic shirts, or tennis shoes, overly worn, torn or tattered clothing; shirts or blouses with spaghetti straps and the like.  Non-uniformed administrative and office staff who are spending a significant portion of a particular day outside or engaged in manual labor indoors may wear more casual clothing on that day. Other non-uniformed employees who spend a greater part of each or nearly every day outside may wear more casual clothing on a regular basis, subject to the approval of the employee’s department head. Tattoos and similar body art must be completely covered while performing job duties in the employ of the City. Body piercings, other than earrings normally worn by administrative staff, are not to be worn while performing job duties.

Columbia – see attached

Thanks for the opportunity to serve you.  I hope this information is helpful.  Feel free to contact me if you have questions or I can be of any further assistance.

Richard L. Stokes, M.S., IPMA-CP, PHR
Human Resources Consultant\Office Manager
IPMA-HR President-Elect
Executive Director - TN Chapter IPMA-HR
The University of Tennessee
Municipal Technical Advisory Service
226 Capitol Blvd. Bldg., Suite 606
Nashville, TN 37219
615/532-6827 (office)
615/532-4963 (fax)


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