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Starbucks lifts tattoo ban for workers, gives pay increase and a snack

Starbucks is finally letting its baristas show a little ink.

The coffee chain announced Thursday changes to its dress code policy that allows its employees to show off  “tasteful” tattoos,  as long as they don't appear on the employee’s face or neck.  Before, the company required that tattoos be covered up.

The policy also allows for untucked shirts, nose studs, shorts, skirts, black jeans, tan khakis and colorful scarves and ties. 

At the same time, the company added other dress code restrictions. Baristas and supervisors will no longer be allowed to wear watches, bracelets or rings with stones --such as wedding rings.

Starbucks released “Making an Appearance”--its new policy for all workers who deal with customers.

In June, Kristie Williams, a Starbucks employee, started a petition to change the tattoo policy,  which garnered 25,000 signatures. In July, a Michigan employee was told to remove a heart tattoo on her hand or lose her job. At the time, the company stood by its demand and reiterated that employees were informed of the no-tattoo rule during the interview process.

Thursday's announcement also detailed a pay increase for baristas and supervisors, annual salary reviews for all employees, and pledged more opportunities for internal growth. Workers also get one free pastry or other pre-made food item per shift.

“We know you work hard every day to deliver the Starbucks Experience and we want to recognize you for it,” says the statement, signed by Troy Alstead, Chief Operating Officer.

The new changes will go into effect Oct. 20.