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Published February 15, 2013, 10:26 PM

Professionals find a way around tattoo prejudices

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Six people were automatically eliminated from a sheriff's deputy job in Minnesota because they had visible tattoos.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Six people were automatically eliminated from a sheriff's deputy job in Minnesota because they had visible tattoos.

We found out it's a common rule in law enforcement throughout our area.

We've seen a lot of "norms" loosen in recent times. Several states are legalizing gay marriage, medical marijuana has popped up throughout the country, but neither in our area and people with tattoos say they don't see the stigma surrounding them leaving the area anytime soon.

18-year-old Ashley Brunelle is getting her 5th tattoo. They're all strategically placed on her body: her legs.

Ashley Brunelle, Getting 5th Tattoo: "The field I'm going into I don't expect to be wearing mini-skirts so people won't see them."

Noah Kilsdonk has done all of Ashley's tattoos.

He doesn't believe someone should be refused a job because of a little ink, but having tattoos himself, knows the looks they're in for.

Noah Kilsdonk, Tattoo Artist: "If you're 18 and going for a full neck tattoo, unless you're going into this industry or an industry you know for sure you have a job future, I will try to direct you from getting your girlfriend's name tattooed on the side of your neck."

Prejudice against tattoos doesn't stop the buzzing. Noah says he works a packed schedule. And if you're not noticing more tattoos in your workplace, he says it's because most clients shield themselves from judgment.

Kilsdonk: "I've tattooed lawyers and doctors. I've tattooed police officers."

Fargo police has a rule that tattoos can't be seen while in uniform. Some Fargo officers always wear long sleeves.

Kilsdonk: "You see someone heavily tattooed and they're a hoodlum or criminal or something like that. We're none of that. People with tattoos are regular working people who just like tattoos on their skin nothing different than a corporate lawyer having a full sleeve but you don't see it because he's wearing a suit."

The Clay County Sheriff's office also has a rule against tattoos. Sheriff Bill Bergquist says they haven't had to address it yet.

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