Tattoos at work okay: Judge

Quebec daycare's ban on tattoos violates workers' rights
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/23/2009

A Quebec daycare can no longer require workers to cover up tattoos on the job, according to a Quebec Superior Court ruling.

Nadine Belisle, a 35-year-old daycare worker in Saguenay, Que., used to have to hide the tattoo of a dragon on her right shoulder blade while at work.

Belisle and her union challenged the tattoo ban and on May 27 Judge Jean Bouchard found the workplace rule requiring employees to cover tattoos violated their rights.

A lawyer for the CPE La Pirouette, a publicly funded daycare, said the daycare's board decided on a blanket ban because it didn't want to have to rule on what is suitable and what isn't in each instance.

The ban was initially upheld by a labour arbitrator but Judge Bouchard struck down the decision, stating the ban "rests on prejudices."

"Tattooing nowadays is a phenomenon that cuts across all levels of society," he wrote in his ruling. "If it was once associated with delinquents, that's no longer the case."

The daycare will still be able to prohibit inappropriate tattoos, such as depictions of violent acts.

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