They want to display a conservative business look. Most people, myself included, can't take someone seriously with certain kinds of tattoos and piercings. The person I would prefer to do business with wouldn't have a tattoo of snake wrapped around his neck, tear drops on his face, or "f*** off" on his knuckles.
Businesses are allowed to have a dress code and it isn't discriminatory. If they tell you to cover them up, it's their right. The bosses run things, not the employees or potential employees. When you get tattoos and piercings, you should know that most workplaces will not accept it, but people still do it.
You may not like it, but it is the workplace - not a nightclub. You choose to be employed by them. You are therefore choosing to abide by their rules which they can determine. It is their facilities you are working in and possibly in front of their customers.
I do not like the body piercings and excessive tattoos (and would never hire somebody with them). However, I recognize your right to have them. It is also a company's right to not hire you if it does not fit their image and values. Some may scream that this is discrimination. By definition, that is true. However, it is not discrimination in the legal sense since it is not one of the protected classes that can bring about legal action.
It's perfectly reasonable. If your body art is bad for business, then they have every reason to tell you to cover it up. If you wish to keep your body art on display, then you can find a job that allows it. You can't expect to do whatever you want and still expect companies to employ you.
I personally think it's bs. Piercings or tattoos don't affect how someone does their job.
But they are trying to uphold an "image", and unless the general public's view of body modification changes (which judging from the other answers on here isn't going to happen anytime soon), then unfortunately nothing will change about it any time soon. Personally, I think that the taboo of sorts against body mods is inaccurate and unfair, and should be erased, but since society's attitude is that tattoos, piercings, etc. are unprofessional or whatever, I guess policies against them are justifiable, since companies want to look professional. And yeah, it's within companies' rights to have these kinds of codes, and dress codes, and things like that.
Its kind of lame at some points because of how open our generation is, however, there ARE some good reasons to keep it conservative.
There will be conservative people around for the rest of our lives. Some condemn piercings and tattoos, and see them as offensive. I don't agree, but that doesn't matter. As a company, you simply cannot afford to p*ss off a particular crowd of people and you need to remain more on the conservative side.
I have a nose stud, and haven't had a problem with it, however, the more obvious the body art, the more likely you will be told to cover it up.
It's very unclassy to have tattoos showing when you are suppose to be taken seriously
some people may not like it.. but it's where you work.. you chose to work there. you must obey their rules.. I respect it because some body arts can be offensive and/or displeasing to some people and if you show that, their business can get a bad reputation