Edmonton woman quits Claire’s after refusing to pierce tearful seven-year-old’s ears

The company says it has reiterated and clarified its policy to all staff

Raylene Marks, who quit a job at a Claire’s store in Edmonton, wrote an open letter to the company asking them to change their piercing policy after an incident with a seven-year-old girl. (@bargainmoose/Flickr)

An Alberta woman quit her job at a Claire’s store after she was told she should not have refused to pierce a crying seven-year-old girl’s ear.

Raylene Marks posted an open letter to Facebook last weekend, asking the U.S.-based accessories and jewelry retailer to change their “right to refuse a piercing” policy after an incident the week prior at one of the stores in the Edmonton area.

The girl who came into the store with her mother “pleaded and sobbed for 30 minutes not to be pierced,” Marks wrote.

“She expressed that she didn’t want us touching her, that we were standing too close, that she was feeling uncomfortable. She made it clear she no longer wanted to get her ears pierced.”

Marks said the mother told her daughter they could leave, but that she was also pressuring the child to go through with it.

Marks told her colleague she wasn’t going to do it, and was relieved when the mother decided they would indeed go home.

The next day, she said she told her manager about it and was told she “would have had no choice but to do it.”

She said she suggested a scenario in which a mother is physically restraining the child, yelling at her to get the piercing, while the girl cries and protests.

“My manager did not hesitate to respond, ‘Yes, you do the piercing.’”

She said gave her notice that day.

READ MORE: Parents in this B.C. city can no longer opt kids out of class for personal beliefs

Marks went on to say Claire’s policy states an employee can only refuse to perform a piercing “if it won’t be successful,” and no mention of a right to refuse if they are concerned about a child’s welfare.

“I implore you to consider changing this policy that blatantly ignores every child who vocally protests, cries, shows obvious signs of distress or is physically restrained by their alleged guardian while they sob and beg to be released,” she wrote.

A public relations firm responded on behalf of Claire’s, saying in an email the company feels Marks acted appropriately, and reiterated and clarified the policy to all staff to ensure its intent is clear.

“We are investigating the specific store instances she mentions, and will take appropriate corrective action,” the statement said. “Customer well-being is our main priority and our existing ear piercing policy ensures that if a child is distressed or resisting the procedure, Claire’s employees can refuse to continue the piercing.”



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

First Nations included in latest Columbia River Treaty talks

Seventh round of negotiations between Canada and U.S. wrap up in Washington D.C.

Close to 1000 people expected to hear international evangelist Angus Buchan this weekend

The Mighty Men’s Conference is taking place in Castlegar June 28-30.

PHOTOS: Canadian National Peony Show this weekend in Castlegar

A glimpse of what is happening at the Community Complex this weekend.

Students learn about making a difference

Girl’s leadership program bears fruit at Kinnaird Elementary

Three times the love: Identical triplets return home to Nelson

Katherine van der Veen gave birth to Ainsley, Olivia and Abigail last month

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth, sets Canadian space record

Native of Saint-Lambert, Que., set a record for longest single spaceflight by a Canadian at 204 days

The world’s Indigenous speakers gather in B.C.’s capital to revitalize languages

Organizers estimate about 1,000 delegates from 20 countries will be at the conference

Companies need clearer rules on workplace relationships, study suggests

One-third of Canadians have been in love at work, and half say no policy on the matter exists

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Most Read