A win for self-expression: Canada judge rules hospital employees cannot be forced to cover up tattoos and piercings in the workplace anymore.
Originally posted on National Post | News:
The Ottawa Hospital’s pioneering attempt to impose a dress code on its staff has been struck down by a labour arbitrator, who ruled there was no justification for ordering workers to cover up their tattoos and remove their piercings.
Defending a policy considered unique in Canadian health care, the hospital had argued the body art could be disturbing to patients who need all the help they can get to recover.
Arbitrator Lorne Slotnick agreed some of the hospitals’ older patients might have a more negative first impression of a nurse sporting a tattoo or nose ring, but concluded there was no evidence the adornments affected patient health. The dress code did, on the other hand, unjustifiably restrict staff members’ right “to present themselves as they see fit,” he said.
Mr. Slotnick compared the case to a grievance by Toronto-area firefighters 40 years ago over a ban on sideburns.
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