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

Nuclear medicine temporarily suspended at KBRH

Upgrades expected to be in service by end of September

Nine fires burning in West Kootenay

All fires considered to be lightning caused.

West Kootenay afternoon storms spark fires

Lots of thunder and lightning, and little rain, as system moves through region

PLACE NAMES: Rossland neighbourhoods, Part 1

Early Rossland townsite built on top of mining claims

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read