Restaurants Pledge to End Sexist Dress Codes
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 Change.org 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.”