A BIG debate was sparked all over the country a few weeks ago, and I was pleasantly surprised with New England's stance on it.

The debate at hand: Should employers be allowed to discriminate based on a potential employee's appearance?

The backstory: Weeks ago, a woman went viral for posting a video after being denied a job with T.J. Maxx.

The company claimed that the job refusal was due to the employee's lack of experience. The candidate, Ash, took to social media to speak her truth. She believed that she was denied the job because of the way she looked.

Mind you, Ash has several face piercings and tattoos on her face, forehead, and neck.

So is it fair for T.J. Maxx to deny her a job based on appearance?

The vast majority of New Englanders (and myself) say yes.

A poll was created in New Hampshire, and about 75% of the hundreds of votes were in support of T.J. Maxx denying the job based on the piercings and demonic neck tattoos.

However, about 25% of voters said the company should NOT have discriminated based on look.

Again, T.J. Maxx claimed that Ash was denied based on lack of experience.

Many in New England, including myself, wished T.J. Maxx was honest about the denial. I think the company SHOULD HAVE said, "We cannot hire you based on your appearance. It does not align with the company values." And I thoroughly think companies should be able to say this legally. Individuals representing a company, especially front-facing jobs like register workers, should be held to an appearance standard IF the company chooses. 

No, an arm sleeve with tributes to your family does NOT fall under that category. Not all visible tattoos and piercings are bad. However, I think the company should be able to use discretion when it comes to what is visible and allowed in THEIR place of business.

But tattoos are expressions of art, personality, and values...exactly. If those visible and public values do not align with a company, they should have the right to deny employment.

I am a tattoo and piercing enthusiast. If you have them, love them, and are proud of them, good. I love looking at people's tattoos. They are often beautiful and an expression of who they are. Be you and put what you want on your body, but you can't get upset if a company does not think what you have on your body goes against their values, right?

“I hate that my tattoos are such a defining factor for me getting a job or not,” Ash said in a NY Post article. “Just because I have tattoos doesn’t mean I’m not going to be a good worker.”

And this is a great point. She seemed like a great and well-spoken worker, but that means nothing if your appearance is unapproachable to the majority of potential customers coming through the door.

I understand that allowing companies to use their judgment on tattoos and appearances may sound nerve-racking. Who are they to determine if a tattoo is appropriate or not?

To that, I would say they own the company. They run the company. Whatever a private company says should go. It is THEIR business to run.

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