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)

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sewer construction will mean limited access to West Shore Parkway from Sooke Road for the next week. (Courtesy of the City of Langford)
West Shore Parkway access limited from Sooke Road

Crews working on sewer construction for the next week

This map shows the pharmacies in Greater Victoria offering the AstraZeneca vaccine for people born in 1981 and earlier. As the map shows, no pharmacies on the Saanich Peninsula are offering the vaccine. (B.C. Government map)
No pharmacies on Saanich Peninsula offering AstraZeneca vaccine

People born in 1981 and earlier eligible for AstraZeneca vaccines

Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre voted to strike April 20, citing increased risk from the pandemic, minimum wage pay and no paid sick days. (Black Press Media file photo)
Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre in Saanich vote to strike

Workers say they’re working in high-risk conditions with near minimum wage pay

Some Saanich firefighters have expressed concerns about first responders in the Island Health Region not being prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an outbreak at a fire station would make service delivery a challenge. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

Saanich members express frustration, department calls on Island Health to take action

Victoria police are searching for Andrew Swanson who was last seen in Victoria April 7 and is wanted on warrants for choking related to a domestic assault and obstructing police. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for missing man wanted for domestic assault

Andrew Swanson, 47, last seen in Victoria April 7

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Canadian driver Paul Tracy pulls out of the pits during the morning session at the Molson Indy in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, July 26, 2003 (CP/Richard Lam)
Vancouver is considering hosting a Formula E race using electric cars

The race would be part of a three-day event focused on climate and sustainability

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Most Read