Lauren Mixon wanted to get her nose pierced with a tiny diamond. She checked the dress code at work and confirmed it discouraged “extreme jewellary”, however after discussing the issue with her supervisor, no-one explicitly said “no”. Mixon was simply advised “It wouldn’t be in my best interests.

After deliberating and deciding it wasn’t a big deal, Mixon had a tiny diamond stud pierced into her nose on the night before Thanksgiving, which caused some discomfort but nothing compared to when she returned to the office. Mixon was fired due to a tiny piece of metal that has suddenly cost her a job.

lauren mixon nose piercing

(The nose piercing that led to the job loss)

Her old employer said he feels bad but cannot change the rules and advised her supervisor told her not to do it and that Mixon wasn’t fired - she quit. Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Olson said having the public served by someone with a nose piercing is not his idea of public service. “We are a professional organization,” Olson said. “If you choose to have that, work somewhere else.

For two years, Mixon worked the counter at the Land O’Lakes office, helping people pay their property taxes, renew their vehicle tags or get their hunting licenses. Mixon hoped she could start with a clear plastic piercing that wouldn’t be too noticeable. But the tattoo shop told her she had to start with a small sterling silver stud for four to eight weeks, to prevent infection.

Come Monday, she told her manager - the same manager who discouraged her the month before. “She said ‘You were told not to do it,’ ” Mixon said, “and I said ‘No, I was told it wasn’t in my best interests.’ ”

She met with her manager and a human resources official and they advised the stud had to go. Frustrated, Mixon said she would find someone to take out the stud, then come back Wednesday with her two weeks notice. “With all of this going on and with the way I was treated,” she said, “I didn’t want to be here anymore.

She left the office with her husband Steven but returned with a new determination: “I got to thinking this isn’t fair. I didn’t do anything wrong.” She offered to put in a clear, plastic stud right away, or disguise it with a band-aid, stating “I’m not quitting and I’m not taking it out.

As a result, Mixon was handed a letter accepting her “verbal resignation.” She was excused from the office her last two weeks, and would be paid through Dec. 11. Mixon said Thursday she only wants one thing, her job back. But, Olson said it’s best for both of them if they go their separate ways.