Last month's rumors appear to be true: Coffee megagiant Starbucks announced today it will lift its longstanding ban on visible tattoos sported by employees. In the announcement, dubbed a new "investment" in partner (employee) experience, Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead wrote that "your appearance is a reflection of the Starbucks brand... At the same time, we want to build a company where self-expression, empowerment and inclusion are nurtured. With this balance in mind, and with your thoughtful feedback, we have updated our dress code." Baristas will now be able to show their ink staring October 20. Modifications have also been made to Starbucks' dress code, allowing "partners" to wear colored ties, scarves, and black denim.
The "self-expression" change isn't the only good news coming to Starbucks employees: Alstead also announced the chain will increase the starting salary for new employees, and plans to issue raises across the board for "all baristas and shift supervisors." Raises will go into effect in early 2015 and represent what a press release calls an initiative to "creat[e] pathways to opportunity" for current and future employees. The changes come just a few weeks after a CBS News report revealed some Starbucks baristas felt they "don't have a voice" when it comes to corporate decisions.