Refusing to remove a tongue stud got Jennifer Rohrs fired last summer from
her job as a radio dispatcher and jailer with the Sheriff's Department in Boone
County, Iowa. The state awarded her $105 per week in unemployment benefits,
but the county appealed.
A hearing on the matter was held recently by telephone. Rohrs, 26, wore her
stud, and Judge G. Kent Renegar said he could see why the county fired her:
She spoke with a lisp and slurred her words even as she pleaded her case.
Renegar, according to the Des Moines Register, expressed no objection to "anyone
wearing any particular item of jewelry or clothing when it does not impact his
or her employment." But he ended up siding with county officials, who said
the jewelry made her difficult to understand when she dispatched deputies to
crime scenes and accidents.
The judge also cited evidence that Rohrs did not take her job training seriously
and her admission to reading books on duty out of boredom.
Rohrs told the Register that her only speech problem was a slight stutter caused
by nerves. She described the stud as "just, like, a part of me."
Des Moines Register