Ok, lame play on words for a title so my regrets to the Rolling Stones.  The tattoo topic is one that seems to be ever-present.  What should companies do about employees with tattoos?  The Herman Trend Alert (sorry, no link) provides the data as to why this topic is so common:

Thus, it is no wonder that over 32 percent of young people aged 25 to 29 and 25 percent of folks aged 30 to 39 have followed suit (Harris Interactive, 2008). A 2006 Pew Research survey found 36 percent of people ages 18 to 25 had tattoos, while a full 40 percent of those 26 to 40 sported them.

As members of the Millennial Generation will readily share, acquiring a tattoo or body piercing is their way of expressing their individuality and their availability to members of the opposite sex. Tattoo parlors from Brazil to Malaysia have seen an upward trend in business over the last ten years, as the Millennials have come of age and can afford these displays of uniqueness.

Ok, before I get labeled as some crotchety old Gen Xer, there is an important aspect to this story:

Moreover, there is another important consideration for employers. Findings from a research study conducted by University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center indicated a high positive correlation (>20 percent) between people with tattoos and those who test positive for the infection hepatitis C. In fact, according to Robert Haley, MD, “[Tattoos] may have been the largest single contributor to the nationwide epidemic of this form of hepatitis”.

I haven’t heard that one before but it is certainly a piece of information to include in the equation.

And no, I am not a fan of tattoos or piercing.  Now you can commence calling me crotchety.

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