Posted: Feb 16, 2013 5:45 PM
Several people applying for jobs as sheriff's deputies in one Minnesota county were recently rejected because of their tattoos.
With both arms inked with art, Ryan Stevens stands out.
He said, "It's got no meaning... its just something I really wanted."
But while applying for a corrections deputy position in Hennepin County, Stevens' tattoos stood out more than his talents.
He said, "I mean, my tattoos are not disrespectful to anybody and I currently work in the field."
Stevens has two degrees in law enforcement and works as a corrections officer, but Hennepin County Sheriff's Office policy states 'no tattoos visible when employees are in uniform."
Stevens said, "If I can wear a long sleeve shirt, and do the job just fine, I don't think there's a problem."
Tattoo artists hear this debate almost daily.
Derek Lowe said, "We hear more, just people, just, 'oh, I'm a lawyer so I know I can't have a neck tattoo.'"
At St. Sabrina's in Uptown, management understands both sides.
Lowe said, "Its essentially just a decoration on your skin but at the same time every business has the option and has the right to decide what the standards are."
With tattoos still popular we wanted to check in with other places of employment about their policy.
Ramsey County Sheriff's Office says "no visible tattooing".
We called a hospital however that says "tattoos are fine."
One upscale restaurant says "we embrace individuality" while another says, "keep it covered."
For Ryan, he'll continue to search for a police officer position, but hopes rules against tattoos begin to relax.
He said, "If you're the 911 caller that's in an emergency, you're not going to care if the cop has a tattoo."
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