Restau­rants Pledge to End Sex­ist Dress Codes

Herizons - - Nellie Grams -

Fe­male restau­rant servers at chain restau­rants are ditch­ing their high heels and tight dresses af­ter com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Earls and Joey, re­sponded to com­plaints that their dress codes for women were dis­crim­i­na­tory.

“Men and women may choose vary­ing heel heights from a walk­ing shoe or short boot.Many of our fe­male servers do choose to wear high heels,” said Earls in a state­ment.“The cur­rent sug­gested dress code is a black skirt, no shorter than one inch above the knee for women … or a straight cut plain black pant.”

Many for­mer staff of Earls, Joey and other chains had charged that, in prac­tice, shorter skirts and higher heels meant bet­ter treat­ment by com­pany man­age­ment. Servers and hostesses said they were forced or pres­sured to wear high heels, tight skirts and heavy makeup in order to ap­pear sexy to cus­tomers.Change came af­ter com­plaints from fe­male em­ploy­ees were pub­li­cized across Canada and boy­cotts were threat­ened.

Win­nipeg­ger Amy Tuck­ett-McGimpsey started a pe­ti­tion that gar­nered 30,468 sign­ers.In 2013, the for­mer wait­ress cre­ated a 12-minute doc­u­men­tary on the sub­ject called Hell on Heels. Earls and Joey restau­rants’ fe­male staff in Win­nipeg can now be seen sport­ing flats and less re­veal­ing at­tire. “Cus­tomers per­ceive you as more sex­ual, more open to ad­vances,” when wear­ing high heels and very short dresses Tuck­et­tMcGimpsey told the Win­nipeg Free Press. In March, in re­sponse to a com­plaint by a for­mer Toronto wait­ress, an On­tario Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion spokesper­son said dress codes can­not dis­crim­i­nate against women and trans­gen­der peo­ple. Chief com­mis­sioner Renu Mand­hane said, “They send the mes­sage that an em­ployee’s worth is tied to how they look.”

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