Tattoos cost Emerald woman a job

DEVASTATED: Kasey Davis says she was denied employment due to her tattoos.
DEVASTATED: Kasey Davis says she was denied employment due to her tattoos. Contributed

THEY say a picture speaks a thousand words and Kasey Davis is covered with stories, reflections and memories from her life.

But these works of art have cost Kasey a job - and her confidence.

Kasey applied for a housekeeping job at a local mine site three weeks ago.

She said the phone inter- view was going well, with rosters being discussed, until the job agency worker found out she had tattoos.

"She said, 'I don't want to offend you in any way or upset you. I don't have a problem with tattoos, but the site manager might have an issue with it'," Kasey said.

"She asked me to send a photo of myself. I didn't really understand why she was asking, but I just wanted the job so bad so I did it.

"About three hours later I got an email saying, 'Hi Kasey, I think you would be great for the job but the tattoos are a deal breaker'."

Kasey said she was devastated to miss out because of her appearance.

"I don't feel confident looking for work now. I feel embarrassed. I was humiliated," she said.

"Being told repeatedly that I was perfect for the job and my resume was perfect, and then not getting the job because of my tattoos - it was devastating."

Kasey's husband Nifty, a tattooist at the couple's local studio Artworx 4720, said having tattoos did not affect his wife's abilities.

"It doesn't affect what we do or the way we do it. With the job she was going for, if she is working with food, her tattoos aren't going to rub off," he said.

"Everyone is arguing, 'It is a free country and the employer should be able to tell you you can't work there because they don't like your image' - well how is it a free country if we aren't allowed to look the way we want to look?

"I have tattooed a surgeon before - people should not judge a book by its cover."

While her tattoos cost Kasey a job, it has also put the couple's dream to start a family on hold.

"For six years I have been trying to have babies and after seven losses we have been told that IVF is going to be our only option," she said.

"Nifty works so hard every day and I do help him in the studio but for me to go out and work hard for that money, and give us something that we have wanted for so long, is another thing.

"We just want to open people's eyes. Discrimin- ation on sexuality, weight, racism, the colour of your skin - it needs to stop.

"I'm not doing it for myself, I am standing up for everyone. I want everyone to be treated equally."

Topics:  editors picks employment tattoos

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