Can they make me remove my piercings at work?

Recently, I received 2 body piercings (left and right nipple). Today, I was informed that someone has complained about this as they can see the formation of the rings through my shirt; and I have actually pulled up my shirt to show them off. What can or should be done about this?

Posted  01-12-2011

Ann Kiernan replies:

The courts usually uphold employer dress and grooming codes, so if your company’s policies prohibit visible piercings, you’d better take off your nipple rings before going to work. See: Cloutier v. Costco, 390 F. 3d 126 (1st Cir. 2004) (company policy banning facial piercings upheld). And I’ll bet your company’s conduct policy does not endorse strip-tease, either, so stop taking off your shirt!


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About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.