PDA

View Full Version : Body Modifications Under Equal Opportunity Employment



CruxClaire
Monday, March 19th, 2012, 07:45 AM
I came across a petition asking individuals to sign to add body modifications to the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (e.g. employers will not be legally allowed to discriminate in hiring people based on tattoos, piercings, etc.)


Include body modification as discrimination.

People who choose to express themselves in the way they best see fit will continue to receive discrimination when trying to get a respectable job without some sort of change. Body modification is as much a choice as religion, which is included in equal opportunity employment. Equal rights for all or equal rights for none. Make equal opportunity equal.

http://www.change.org/petitions/include-body-modification-in-equal-opportunity-employment

Now, I understand that many of you are probably opposed in general to the Equal Opportunity Act, but, if possible, I would like to confine my question to within the Act itself: would it make sense for body modifications to be a part of it?

I don't think so. I find it ridiculous that people would group tattoos and piercings in the same category as race, religion, orientation, and marital status, because when people choose to tattoo and pierce their bodies, they are making the conscious choice to alter their bodies in a way that some other people will dislike and that will cause their chances of employment to fall based on company standards (with the exception of stores like Hot Topic, which seem to hire only people with multiple piercings and tattoos).

An employer has the right to choose those whom he/she believes will best serve as the faces of the company, and when he/she is fully aware that multiple body modifications on an employee will make customers uncomfortable, he should reserve every right not to hire the person on that basis.

In the petition, they compare tattoos and piercings to religion in that "body modification is as much a choice as religion," but I don't think that's a fitting comparison at all. Religion is "under the hood" - it's not superficial/a surface choice, like getting a tattoo would be. To get a tattoo is to modify the body, while to accept a religion as one's own is to modify the mind or spirit.

With the exception of race, which cannot be chosen and is therefore an accident of birth, none of the factors listed under Equal Opportunity are directly related to physical appearance, but rather, of one's personal, out-of-the-workplace lifestyle. Body modifications are surface features that people have made a conscious choice to make.

I therefore cannot understand why people actually think that employers should be legally obligated to give someone covered in tats, with rainbow hair and giant ear gauges, equal consideration as, say, a waitress at a family diner to someone who is "unmodified."

Aeternitas
Monday, March 19th, 2012, 08:12 AM
I'm against stuff like the "Equal Employment Opportunity Act" to begin with. I think employers should have the right to be discriminate about whom they employ. It doesn't matter whether it's about race, religion, gender or body modifications and whether one had a choice about it or not. Affirmative action and equal opportunity paradoxically endanger it IMO, by placing the employer in an uneasy situation, risking to be accused of "racism" and "discrimination" if he chooses a certain candidate and therefore potentially influencing his decision in another direction. Everyone has their own sets of morals and judge accordingly and this creates niches for practically all groups, e.g. there are actually jobs where being tattooed or pierced is an advantage.

The main idea IMO is that with rights come responsibilities and with choices come consequences. This last part is sought to be minimized if not completely erased nowadays by some "change" advocates.

CruxClaire
Monday, March 19th, 2012, 08:25 AM
I'm against stuff like the "Equal Employment Opportunity Act" to begin with. I think employers should have the right to be discriminate about whom they employ. It doesn't matter whether it's about race, religion, gender or body modifications and whether one had a choice about it or not. Affirmative action and equal opportunity paradoxically endanger it IMO, by placing the employer in an uneasy situation, risking to be accused of "racism" and "discrimination" if he chooses a certain candidate and therefore potentially influencing his decision in another direction. Everyone has their own sets of morals and judge accordingly and this creates niches for practically all groups, e.g. there are actually jobs where being tattooed or pierced is an advantage.

The main idea IMO is that with rights come responsibilities and with choices come consequences. This last part is sought to be minimized if not completely erased nowadays by some "change" advocates.

I'm personally neutral on Affirmative Action because
1)I don't know much about the effects that it's had so far.
2)I'm really torn about the issue, because on the one hand it's helping people who got a bad break just by being born with a certain genotype, but on the other hand, it's hurting people who are possibly more deserving.

As far as Equal Opportunity Employment goes, for race and orientation, I don't have a problem with it (it's creating one set of tensions, but it's also preventing another - we might still be having large race riots every summer in America's Midwestern cities like we used to if minorities felt significantly legally underprivileged). Religion and marital status are iffy for me (marital status can be relevant to some jobs, like marriage counselor for example, and religion can significantly affect the way people behave towards other people, and, again, there are the jobs like, say, clerk a Catholic church that a Scientologist might not be well-suited for).

But as far as the topic of discussion goes, I didn't really mean to inspire a debate about the merits of the Equal Opportunity Act, but rather, whether or not it's really the same to say "I won't hire you because you're Asian" as it is to say "I won't hire you because you have 'FUCK' tattooed across your forehead."

Aeternitas
Monday, March 19th, 2012, 09:22 AM
I think it depends cause tattooing "fuck" across one's forehead may or may not necessarily render one unfit to do a certain job. Also races have different attributes and difference in intelligence and performance has been recorded between races. Surely it can be a stereotype but people with body modifications are also stereotyped. So they're both forms of discrimination and if there has to be an "Equal Employment Opportunity Act" prohibiting it, then adding anything that differentiates people and separates them into groups and subcultures there is a normal and expected consequence IMO.

Anyways back to the body modifications issue, of course if one works with the public directly it will matter due the negative social image it can create. I wouldn't care much if I was hiring him to do a job as web developer for example. I'd be more focused on his abilities to produce what I needed.

In the end, again, I think this should be up to the employer. He may not necessarily make the most objective decision and it may seem "unfair", but a wrong decision will affect his business so he will have to respond for it one way or another.

Tom Schnadelbach
Monday, March 19th, 2012, 09:26 AM
Does that mean that all of those "neo-nazis" who tattoo their faces and shaved heads with swastikas and celtic crosses and "WPWW8814" and "666"s will finally be able to get jobs instead of playing the WP martyr?

Sehnsucht
Monday, March 19th, 2012, 09:51 AM
It is impossible to enforce anyway. Employers just have to keep their mouths shut as to the reasons for not hiring them.