Mandatory high heel policies banned from B.C. workplaces
Published Friday, April 7, 2017 11:28AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, April 7, 2017 1:21PM PDT
Employers are no longer allowed to force women to wear high heels on the job in British Columbia.
The provincial government announced Friday it has amended its legislation to prevent mandatory high heel policies in the workplace, one month after Green Leader Andrew Weaver first pushed for such a change.
"Forcing female employees to wear high-heeled shoes, especially when their male colleagues are wearing flat shoes, is archaic and this change is clearly overdue," Weaver said in a statement.
Weaver, who introduced a private member's bill on the issue on International Women's Day, said he's heard from servers, bartenders, lawyers and hospitality industry workers about their experiences being forced to wear high heels.
“They talked about sexism, objectification, bleeding feet, sore knees, hips, and backs, long term damage, and called for this practice be officially changed," Weaver said.
"We are very far from an inclusive, gender-equal province. But this is an important step."
The B.C. government changed the existing footwear regulations under the Workers Compensation Act, which now requires employers to consider the potential for slipping, tripping, musculoskeletal injury, and other factors when determining employees' dress code.
"This change will let employers know that the most critical part of an employee's footwear is that it is safe. I expect employers to recognize this very clear signal that forcing someone to wear high heels at work is unacceptable," Jobs Minister Shirley Bond said in a news release.
WorkSafeBC will be putting together a set of guidelines to support the law, which is expected by the end of the month.