According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, any employer can establish appearance policies. The main requirement is that such policies cannot discriminate a person on the base of their religion, sex, age or race. In the medical field, most textbooks have a section about employee's appearance. They state that each employee has a responsibility to care about their professional appearance. This includes: fingernails, hair, piercing, tattoos and footwear.
Medical Office Administration Work Text states that earrings are considered to be acceptable jewelry, but it is better to avoid several earrings in one ear. Some dress codes make
employees eliminate more than one piece of piercing in the ears. As for the body piercing, it is not allowed at all and all the parts should be removed while on duty. Also, a work text has a part about tattoos – they are not allowed to be visible at all and should be covered with a bandage or a piece of clothing (Potter, 2003, p.6).
But in reality, tattoos are getting more popular nowadays. Around 42% of American adults have at least one tattoo (Linkov, n.d.). Such things as tattoos and piercing are more accepted, and more employers act more liberal. There are some prejudices in corporate America, and the law states that every employer has a right to deny a job application if they think your tattoos violate company's policies. Nevertheless, as for the health care industry, a large portion of hospital employees has tattoos. So it means the rules are not that strict. They can be flexible and less restricting.
There is no official policy regarding tattoos and piercing in the workplace, including heath care industry. Everything depends on hospital administration. If a tattoo can be covered, a potential employer will not have any problems. The most important part is not to have any offensive tattoos. Facial tattoos and piercing are almost always prohibited. Hospital administration has to protect a professional image of the hospital, and its employees are not allowed with such freedom of self-expression.
Linkov, N. (n.d.). Tattoos in the Workplace: How Appearance Policies Affect Healthcare Jobs. Retrieved from https://www.aimseducation.edu/blog/tattoos-in-the-workplace-healthcare-jobs-appearance-policies/
Potter, B. A. (2003). Medical office administration: A worktext (3rd ed.).