NYC Council member to introduce bill that would make discrimination based on tattoos illegal

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A first-of-its-kind bill will be introduced to New York City Council this week that would prohibit discriminating against people based on their tattoos.

Many employers in the city have rules banning tattoos from the workplace, and proponents say tattoo stigma has prevented some New Yorkers from getting access to services and housing.

The bill would prohibit employers, as well as service and housing providers, from discriminating against someone based on their tattoos.

City Council Member Shaun Abreu will introduce the bill during the council's session on Thursday.

"No New Yorker should face discrimination for having a tattoo when they are trying to get a job, housing, or public services," Abreu said. "Tattoos are a form of personal self-expression that, too often, incur bias and discrimination from employers, landlords, and service providers. It is time of the city to reject all forms of discrimination and codify protections for New Yorkers with tattoos."

Since some tattoos are for religious purposes, the bill would include tattoos as a religious observance for employees.

However, there are some exceptions to the bill.

Tattoos containing hate speech or are symbols associated with racism would not be protected under the new bill.

Any business that would require tattoos to be covered as a job necessity would also be exempt from the bill.

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