38 year old Jo Perkins was fired from her job as a consultant at Salisbury FM simply because she would not cover up her butterfly tattoo on her foot. Salisbury FM is said to be one of the leading commercial facilities management solutions companies based out of the United Kingdom. When Perkins was hired at the Milton Keynes, Buckingham-shire location which was only 5 months prior to her firing, Salisbury FM knew about the butterfly tattoo on her left foot but had no issue with it being visible. Months after she was hired, the company decided to update their tattoo policy prohibiting all employees from showing any tattoos at work including exiting tattoos. This new policy update was enforced to maintain the company’s professional image in front of clients and other business professionals. Despite the fact this was a mandatory policy all employees had to follow effective immediately, Perkins found it very challenging to cover up her butterfly tattoo on her foot also while following Salisbury FM’s dress code policy. Perkins claims the only way to cover up her butterfly tattoo on her foot would be to put on a pair of socks which would not go well with dresses nor skirts which was wardrobe of choice. Perkins proposed covering up the butterfly tattoo with an adhesive bandage but figured it would look even more unprofessional and would add an unwanted focus to her foot.
After failed attempts to cover up her butterfly tattoo, Perkins decided to show up at work with it showing. The following day, she walked into Salisbury FM with her buttery tattoo showing on her foot again and found out her contract had been terminated. She was immediately escorted out of the Salisbury FM office where she was employed. She later found out it was due to her not following the companies new tattoo policy and failing to cover up her tattoo. Ed Swales, the company’s Chief Executive Officer said Perkins did not attempt to cover her tattoo therefore failed to obey the new policy and was terminated. He also said the policy was to cover up all visible tattoos and not to outlaw tattoos or get rid of employees who had them.
Perkins is now contemplating if she should take legal actions against Salisbury FM because they singled her out and discriminated against her. Although she was only employed for 5 months at Salisbury, she was exalted for her work while there and her role did not include interaction with the public. Perkins says she has worked for a number of profitable companies during her career but has never came across something so absurd as this matter. Perkins wants to do research on her own to find out if being fired for not covering up a tattoo at a workplace is grounds for discrimination under any inclusion and diversity laws that are in place.v