10 Sep 2009

Complaint over supermarket stance on tattoo

8:45 am on 10 September 2009

A former employee of Pak'nSave supermarket in Rotorua plans to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission after she was told to cover a "cultural tattoo".

Gabby Edams, 17, had a tattoo with a island mat design done on her ankle at the request of her Tongan grandfather last year.

She says it was not an issue until two months later and claims her employer told her to cover the tattoo.

Ms Edams says she was subjected to meetings before every shift for three weeks until she resigned last year.

Another former check-out operator at the same Pak'nSave premises, Krista Lesley, claims she was told to remove red highlights from her hair or resign, which she did after a battle.

While disputes over hair colour are a matter of employment law, the Human Rights Commission says tattoos come within the scope of the commission.

In a statement, Pak'nSav says it's satisfied their resignations were handled appropriately.