New York City bill would outlaw discrimination against tattooed people

The New York City Council is considering a bill that, if passed, would make it illegal to discriminate against individuals who have tattoos in the context of the workplace and when renting a place to live or accessing public services. Apparently, tattoos of "hate speech" or "vulgarity"—as judged by the City Human Rights Commission—are exceptions to the rule. From Gothamist:

Councilmember Shaun Abreu, the bill's lead sponsor, called tattoos a form of personal self-expression that often incur bias and discrimination from employers, landlords and service providers.

"We don't need any artificial barriers to getting jobs or housing," said Abreu, who plans to introduce the legislation to the City Council on Friday.

The bill would add "tattoo" to the list of categories in the city's administrative code that are already prohibited from discrimination, such as race, sexual orientation, gender and age. It would still allow bosses to require their employees to cover a tattoo if it is a necessary condition for the job. However, employers would have the responsibility of proving that the absence of a tattoo is necessary and that there is "no less discriminatory means of satisfying the occupational qualification."