Daybook

Tattoo Discrimination

Needled.com reports on a veteran who was fired for his WWII tattoos.  I had a delightful chat this afternoon with Marisa  DiMattia, the editor of Needled, who is also an attorney at work on a book  about tattoos and the law.

She told me about another employee discrimination case that happened after the Costco case that I wrote about. In that case Red Robin Gourmet Burgers fired a waiter over his tattoos, and he also argued religious discrimination. (His tattoos were in the Kemetic tradition, a new revival of ancient Egyptian religion.) In that case, she says, the court sided with the waiter –the employer had to offer a reasonable accommodation for his Kemetic tattoos.

In any event, Jesus is evidently a very popular tattoo muse, and there’s even a Christian Tattoo Association. So in these "Slap a little Jesus on a problem and it’s all good" times, maybe this is how people with tattoos can get some legal cover after all. I mean, Ken Starr went from investigating Bill Clinton to arguing against the statewide ban on tattooing in South Carolina, pro bono. My first thought was that he had a bunch of super-interesting tattoos under his suit –after all, who’s ever seen him short sleeves? 

Starr has reportedly said otherwise, but he may have taken some notes on how to answer a question without answering it. Astute readers will note that his denial seems to lacks a noun: "I don’t indulge, and have no intention of ever indulging." But in what, counselor, in what?

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