Can I file a lawsuit against a company for not hiring me due to a facial piercing?

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Can I file a lawsuit against a company for not hiring me due to a facial piercing?

I have a couple visible tattoos and one facial piercing. I had an interview on Friday, and was hired on the spot. The managers informed me that they really liked me and that I would be a great fit in their company. My tattoos were showing but I hid my piercing. I went back today to fill out paperwork and didn’t hide my piercing. I was told that if it had been seen prior, I would not have been hired. I informed them that I could remove it at any time. He treated me very rudely and told me I was no longer hired because I wouldn’t work out. Do I have a lawsuit?

Asked on April 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, you do not have a lawsuit. Employment is employment at will--so long as  they are not discriminating on one of a handful of specifically protected bases, employers are free to decide whom to hire, and also to fire employees at will, for any reason. The main protected classes or categories are race, religion, age over 40, disability, and sex; neither federal nor state law protects facial piercings, which means that employers may freely decide to not hire somone with piercings, or to fire someone already hired who has or gets such piercings.


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