A UK woman has been given the boot from her job because she had a visible butterfly tattoo on her foot.
Jo Perkins, 38, already had the offending ink when multi-million pound firm Salisbury FM employed her earlier this year.
Yet little did the painted lady realize that the butterfly tattoo which adorns the side of her left foot would get her fired quicker than you could say, “That’s some very nice artwork you got there, Miss.”
A few months after the business executive started work, the company instated a “no tattoos on show” rule, because they felt unsightly tattoos didn’t comply with their firm’s professional image.
Because of the positioning of the butterfly tattoo, Miss Perkins found it rather difficult to cover up her colorful ink and so the bosses gave the consultant her marching orders.
Miss Perkins told the Daily Mail:
“The only way to cover it (butterfly tattoo) would be to wear a sock. I’m a businesswoman and I wear smart dresses to work, so that would look stupid. I suggested covering it with a sticking plaster, but thought that would look unprofessional and draw attention to it.”
The situation reached a boiling point when Miss Perkins arrived for work only to discover that her contract was terminated and she was to be escorted from the premises for the crime of having a butterfly tattoo.
The company’s chief executive Ed Swales said there was no ban on staff having tattoos:
“The policy is simply one of covering tattoos. The policy is in place to ensure our employees and contractors project the professional image we want our customers to see in Salisbury. [Miss Perkins] made no effort to comply with the policy.”
Company spokesman Graham Sievers added:
“The policy on tattoos was launched in June and all the line managers made everyone fully aware of it. Her tattoo was visible. It is not a ban on tattoos. It is a ban on visible tattoos.”
Having worked for the facilities management company — which has HM Revenue and Customs as its sole client — for a full five months and praised for her outstanding work, the butterfly tattoo lady is now weighing up the option of launching legal action on the grounds of discrimination.
Miss Perkins, whose role did not involve dealing with the public, said:
“I’ve worked for many high-level companies in my time. But I have never heard anything as ridiculous as this. I am consulting a solicitor, on behalf of all professionals with tattoos, to see if this action constitutes discrimination under inclusion and diversity laws.”