View Full Version : Piercings

02-07-2001, 10:52 AM
My brother is in charge of our landscape contracts. He was approached for employment the other day buy a young guy who was new to the area. My brother informed me that he was quite polite and professional in how he approached him to ask about a job opporunity as spring was just around the corner.

He showed up at the shop the other morning in khakis, a button down shirt, and some sort of a casual dress shoe, and a stud in his nose and ear. When he speaks he is very well spoken and incredibly polite. After our meeting we are both impressed with his qualifications and feel that he would be a valuable assest to our organization.

I think the piercings are unprofessional, but I dont know if we can stipulate against them or not. Would you guys hire him or not??

I know the post was wordy but I wanted to give him a fair shot, he was not just some shlep comin thru the door with his nose pierced.

Thanks for your input.

Mike Nelson
02-07-2001, 11:04 AM
I know what you mean!
I don't think that is discrimination,you have a right to have a dress code.
John Allin would probably know more.

Good Luck

02-07-2001, 11:06 AM
Hire him but let him know that he must have the piercings removed while on the clock. Since he presented himself the way he did, I believe that he will understand the reasoning behind your decision. I think there even might be some safty factors that piercings present.

John DiMartino
02-07-2001, 11:07 AM
I have an older man hlp out here and there,and he is loaded with tatoos and long hair.Looks wise,he's right off a harley,but this guy is the best worker and polite,easy on equipment and ultra reliable.When we sarted using him we were a little turned off by it all,but no it doesnt bother us,and not one customer has said anything-yet.I wouldnt use him for my lawn business though,Ive thought about it and feel there is to much exposure and dont want my image to be reflcted by his looks-which it would if i hired him.If it was just a couple piercings,Id hire him ,you never know he might be your best employee,and next year he'll grow up and drop the peircings.If you hire him,down the road,you can let him bid work when he;s apporached by neighbors-and he'd get more bids without those piercings.

02-07-2001, 11:27 AM
What is his background? Why is he looking for a job? The asthetic part of a person is great but how can you justify not hiring him because of the way he looks?

What will his job be? If this guy has a good background as well as work ethic and has experience then he is worth a shot even if he has his tounge pierced as long as you don't hire him to answer the phone. You have to be careful about discriminating on looks, if you can find a Safety reason it may be easier to tell him that he can't wear it, but I can't really think of one. Just my 2cents.

02-07-2001, 11:38 AM
Casual shoes, NO WAY

02-07-2001, 11:39 AM
As far as qualifications go he is more than ample in his aptitude. He has just moved here and if he could have afforded to stay where he was out west he would have.

I guess that my concerns were as John mentioned about the overall presenatation of our company. I too would definitely not want him performing maintenance looking like some jerk that just got back from spring break.

I also agree with lonestar, that he would in fact see the business side of his piercings as a potential turn-off. My gut tells me that he appreciates the fact that we took the time to talk to him and that we are considering his ability not his appearance.

Being we have such stuff shirt conservatives in our area who couldnt put out a pocorn fart at a burrito eating contest, I was just curious how the rest of you would handle valuable applicants with what I believe to be a minor yet not irreversible flaw. I also wanted to be a little more sure that if we asked him not to wear it as lonestar stated that it could be done in a professional, non-discriminative way.


Joseph Meidling
02-07-2001, 12:22 PM
Just my observations: I work in corporate America for a large pharmaceutical manufacturer, in a corporate engineering environment. It seems that this type of thing is becoming more and more common. We see new engineers hired with earings and some with tattoos. These engineers are recruited from some of the top colleges in the country. The new corporate buzzword is "diversity", and we are "proactively" hiring a more "diverse" work force. By the way I don't find these "diverse" worker's work habits any different from those of their more conservitive counter parts. Just my humble opinion.

02-07-2001, 12:35 PM
I worked briefly at an insurance company. I got to know an HR person there pretty well. I asked her about this issue - she says you can stipulate that anything offensive is covered or removed. You can also choose not to hire. But there's a caveat.

There was an article in The Landsculptor, the magazine of the MNLA (MI). It said that if they are in contact with customers, you are justified in requiring short hair, no tattoos, no piercings. But it'll help if you can put together an employee guidebook that stipulates this. Doesn't have to be more than one page. See if they're site can help http://www.landscape.org. Might be able to get a copy of the article.

And John - if he looks like he just got off a harley, full of hair and tattoos, the reason nobody brought it up is because they're afraid he'd kill and eat them. :D

02-07-2001, 02:15 PM
I have spent the latter part of the morning writing up a code of ethics for the company.


Randy Scott
02-08-2001, 12:12 AM
Kris, he sounds like he would be an asset to your business and those people are hard to come by. The ear piercing is nothing, everyone has them and I think they are generally accepted. The nose ring, a little much. I would try and feel him out on that, maybe he won't have a problem taking it out if that's what you want him to do. If he is going to cut your lawns and stuff and realisticly not really be in any type of customer relations, what the hell. If you have accquired your customers from your work ethics and selling experience, your customers may not really care what your help looks like as long as the work continues to be the same. I know it's a touchy and difficult decision to make. Probably up until I was 25 or 26 (now 33), I had three piercings in one ear. it never really hindered me from getting work because I always came highly recommended and it's hard to come by those people.(not trying to brag). You know your situation best and will have to make the decision. I know in the very near future here I will probably be hiring help. I know of alot of people that are in the running and they're all in their early 20's or late teens. I can honestly say, they all are pierced. It's just something that is really becoming commonplace. Sorry to ramble on but hopefully it will shed some light on the subject. Tell him you'll pay for a piercing in a less conspicuous place, but tell him you don't need to see it.LOL


02-09-2001, 09:13 AM
Tell him you'll pay for a piercing in a less conspicuous place, but tell him you don't need to see it.LOL
thats what randy scott said thats not a bad ideal but watch out if he sneezes and dont cover all three holes,lol,he might blow snot on you .lol
go on hire him our kids willdo the same thing when they are older, this way you can get use to it

[Edited by rdh on 02-09-2001 at 08:16 AM]

John Allin
02-09-2001, 06:54 PM
Dress codes are usually enforcable and legal as long as it is enforced across the board. If you email me your mailing address I'll send you one of our Employee Handbooks. It's all nice and legal for PA. You'd have to have a NY lawyer look it over to see if its legal in your state, although we do work just over the state line with NY employees and no one has given us a hard time over it.

Mr. Meidling,
I grew up at Indian Lake. Went to Morris Knolls. Was a lifeguard at Rock Ridge Lake. Know the area well. Left the area to go to college in Erie, PA in 71. Small world.

02-10-2001, 10:31 AM
I'll never know how much business I lose due to the diamond stud in my left earlobe, but personally, I'd ask him to work leaving his nose stud at home. I guess I'm just too conservative.

02-10-2001, 04:52 PM
Your reputation in the community you work in is your responsibility. If it will hurt you then you must protect your image and not worry about his concerns. If he will be a team player he will understand and be more than willing to take your standard. If not, he will be more of a problem in the future.

Second choice is to ask him to wear a very small stud that wouldn't be noticable to people unless they got in his face.

Vibe Ray
02-10-2001, 09:38 PM
Maybe you could compromise and tell him just to take the Nose ring off and he can leave the ear ring in.....provided that he looks acceptable with it......
You could even use the buddy approach and say:
Hey man, I don't care what the hell you look like! I just care about how well you work. It's not me, it's the customers that love to stereotype. The typical customer WILL stereotype a person with a nose peircing in a negative way and it WILL have an influence on their decision whether or not to hire us. And I don't want to take that risk, cuz I LOVE money and don't wanna stop makin' it!!!!

[Edited by Vibe Ray on 02-10-2001 at 08:44 PM]

dan deutekom
02-10-2001, 10:00 PM
I've found that it is mostly us employers that are to conservative when it comes to long hair, ear rings and nose studs, tatoos and all that other stuff that comes along. Over the years I have found that the customer always accepts a good caring worker regardless of what they look like. It is the attitude that counts and wins the client over.

02-10-2001, 11:22 PM
I have compiled an Employee Handbook this past week based on several different tid-bits of info from here and other associates in my community.

I have also spoken with John Allin as suggested. I will let you know the outcome as we meet once again to sign up employees for this seson next weekend.

Thank you to all who have responded to a possible ground breaking step for our company. And as always your input and opinions matter.


GreenQuest Lawn
02-12-2001, 01:09 AM
Well as some one with long hair and tattoos and piercings i have to give my two cent worth. in the past 10 years of doing lawn care NOBODY has ever complained. My former employer (before i was self employed) tried once to get me to cut my hair the fist week i worked . I said no. 2 yrs later i was second in command. Many times he said he was thankful he didnt fire me.I worked for him for 7 yrs. As long as the hair doesnt get in the way (pony tails only) and the person is clean the customers wont mind. The piercings , as long as there small i wouldnt see a problem.


02-12-2001, 11:38 AM

I don't want this to turn into a battle, but here's the thing:

You'll never know how much business was chased away by your appearance. They don't ever call to say, "I like the price and your reputation, but I didn't like the guy with the nosering. Made me nervous."

So, it's up to the company owner to decide how he/she wants to present the company to it's customers and the public, then put a policy in place and enforce it. And if you're in contact with customers, the company is perfectly justified in requiring changes in appearance to fit that policy.

Mike Nelson
02-12-2001, 12:11 PM
You guys are all right.It depends on how you want your company to be presented.
There is a guy who does sealcoating in my area and he is known as Billy the Biker.He is just that,a Big Biker Dude.He has his loyal customers just as any of us do and does very well.There again it is who you are and what you believe in and how you want to run YOUR company..
That's the bottom line....

02-19-2004, 11:02 PM
At least he showed up to the interview with pants on!

02-20-2004, 01:59 AM
LOL I love these old threads :dizzy: sure glad I run my own business cuz nobody would hire my tattooed azz with the responses I have just read. some peeps need to just roll with the times

Harry Dangler the dirty lawn boy :eek: :D

02-20-2004, 05:56 AM
Just ask yourself this questions, "Would you not hire a company to perform services just because of appearances?"

02-21-2004, 06:26 PM
Hey Ed as a firefighter you know that we have a dress code and the chief wouldn't hire someone who wouldn;t change to meet that code. We have every requirement on looks you can have, hair length, jewlery, mustaches and so on. I think you can be polite and explain the motive of your actions, tell the want to be that these are the rules can you live with them and see how he responds. If he has a problem, dont hire him. JMO.

02-21-2004, 06:35 PM
I have a labret Piercing. But during business hours I wear a clear stud, and I am covered in tats. Most of the time Im in a shirt and tie so not many of my customers ever see my tats, but when I first started 5 years ago about the only people who cared about looks where the older generation 60+.
My wife is a MD and she has an eyebrow pierced and 6 earrings per ear, and her navel, I don't think that it would be a problem, but I would make sure they don't dangle that would hurt if they got caught on something. :cool: