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Photographs by Gordon Schmidt

Americans are getting tattoos “at a remarkable rate,” writes law professor Steve Allred. His point? That America’s workers therefore are, too, and employers aren’t always OK with it.

In an October article in Labor Law Journal, Allred took a look at how courts have ruled in disputes between prospective and current employees and the employers who reject, discipline, or discharge them. The news for the tattooed is not good.

“Employers have wide latitude in taking such actions,” Allred writes. But he also cautions employers “to think carefully about whether their decision to reject a tattooed applicant is grounded in a legitimate business purpose, or whether their decision to discipline a tattooed employee may be challenged as disparate treatment.”

People get tattoos for often deeply personal reasons. These photos all show people who come to work every day at the University of Richmond; among them are faculty, administrators, and support staff. Click or tap the photos for their stories.