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

Victoria People’s Party candidate says campaign signs stolen around city

PPC candidate Alyson Culbert says she finds theft ‘disturbing’

Sidney could take additional action around speculation tax

Council to consider steps later this fall after staff review of provincial statistics

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Andrew Berry trial nears end, Victoria joins tree-planting pledge and more

Three second-half goals lead Cavalry over Victoria’s Pacific FC

Cavalry FC downed Pacific FC 4-1 on Sunday in Canadian Premiere League action

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read