Barista: Starbucks Trying to Fire Me for Tiny Tattoo
Michigan woman says she had tattoo 5 years ago when she was hired
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2014 9:42 AM CDT
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(Newser) – There are several different ways you can get fired from Starbucks, according to Business Insider—organizing a union, selling leftover coffee on eBay, not letting your customers surf the Internet for "adult content"—or just having a tattoo. A 27-year-old Michigan barista identified simply as Kayla tells Fox 2 Detroit that she had a tiny heart tattoo on her hand when she started work at Starbucks five years ago. She claims that no one brought it up during her interview or afterward, and she doesn’t remember the policy being mentioned. But now she says Starbucks management has given her 30 days to get rid of it or she’ll be fired.

The Starbucks rule has apparently always been on the books, if not strictly or consistently enforced. And Kayla says she masks the heart tattoo (which is the size of a penny that can be subtly covered up by her thumb) with makeup that she leaves at work. Starbucks seems unmoved by her concealment efforts in a statement sent to Fox 2 Detroit that says, “Our tattoo policy states that [employees] cannot have visible tattoos. This is part of our dress code policy and is discussed with our candidates during the interview process." Kayla doesn’t understand why they’re making such a big deal out of her ink, especially because she’s a conscientious employee who is vocal in telling others that Starbucks is "an awesome place to work." "It’s a little heart," she says. "It’s not offensive to anybody." (Another recent Starbucks scandal? A "666" design in a customer's coffee foam.)

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Paul Hue
Jul 30, 2014 12:00 PM CDT
Is positive the only socially acceptable position to take with respect to tattoos? Is it now only socially acceptable to find body defacement just fine? Have those of us who hold a negative view of body graffiti replaced the body-marked as social outcasts? Is tattooing no longer the subject of parental guidance?
Jul 30, 2014 10:20 AM CDT
Wow. First, I have no tattoos and have no intention of ever getting one. It's just not my thing. Second, I do not, for one second, believe that Starbucks is firing this woman because of her tattoo. Something else is going on here. They may have another - more difficult to justify in court - reason for wanting her gone. Who knows? But this just doesn't pass the "smell test." Third, I had no idea how totally judgmental, rude, condescending and self-righteous people are about tattoos. As I said, they're not my thing, Often, when I see them, they're poorly done, or the content is in poor taste, and I don't find them attractive, at all. Sometimes, they are just so large that my immediate thought is, "what part of their physical appearance is this person trying to distract attention from?" Other times I am intrigued by the quality of the art work and the coloring. And, on rare instances, I will notice a woman with a small, well-done tattoo and find it incredibly sexy. Makes you wonder what's covered up! All that having been said, some of the comments on here are among the meanest I've ever read on any comment board. The statements are ruder and more divisive than some of the comments made on articles about Trayvon Martin's death. Some of you "anti-tattoo" people are just mean ... ugly mean. And that's much less attractive than even the most poorly done, crass or obscene tattoo.
Jul 25, 2014 5:56 PM CDT
How bout a tiny Starbucks logo tattoo?