Tattoo cover-up policy not reasonable

The Ottawa Hospital instituted a new policy on tattoos and piercings. The arbitrator found that evidence on patients' preferences did not trump the freedom of expression of employees and the policy was disallowed.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/12/2013

The Ottawa Hospital modified its dress code policy to require workers to cover up large, visible tattoos during working hours. The hospital also sought to prohibit visible, excessive body piercings.

The union grieved.

On Oct. 13, 2010, the large metropolitan hospital employing about 12,000 workers at two sites adopted a new, comprehensive dress code policy. The policy was slated for implementation in March 2011. The union received a draft of the policy on Nov. 25, 2010 and filed a grievance on that same day.