No more mandatory high heels
Employers can no longer require workers to use shoes that could pose safety risks
Winter tire rebates encouraging Banff locals to use bicycles year round
think winter cyclists are now, to being a more normal and accepted way of getting around,” said Chad Townsend, Banff’s manager of environmental services.
The public has already taken advantage of this initiative, as the 21 rebates given out in the first week account for more than a fifth of the program’s total funding. Bosses will no longer be able to require their staff to wear high heels, the Alberta government announced Friday.
In an announcement at an Edmonton restaurant Friday morning, Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray noted how prolonged high heel use has been associated with workplace accidents like tripping and falling, painful foot conditions, and skeletal and muscular injuries.
The province plans to change Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Code to eliminate employers’ ability to require workers to use footwear that could pose health and safety risks, which means servers and bartending staff won’t have to wear them. In 2017, Ontario and British Columbia passed legislation banning footwear that could be hazardous for workers. Earlier this year, Manitoba followed suit.
This amendment goes into effect on Jan. 1.
“After working almost half my industry career in a workplace that demanded unsafe and uncomfortable footwear, I’m left with chafed feet in the shape of diamonds from the shoes that I wore eight to 10 hours,” said Lisa Caputo, the co-owner of Cibo Bistro in Edmonton,
at the announcement.
“It affects my every day now, and it’s been eight years since I’ve had to wear those shoes.”
This new amendment doesn’t apply to footwear made mandatory for safety reasons, like steel-toed boots.
This legislation comes on the heels of other provinces passing similar legislation in the last two years. In 2017, Ontario and British Columbia passed legislation banning footwear that could be hazardous for workers, and earlier this year, Manitoba followed suit.
Gray wanted to use this amendment to the health and safety code to address a gap that currently allows for mandatory high heel policies. The labour minister wanted to ensure workers’ safety was protected, given how physically demanding being a server is.
“We’ve heard from Albertans that some employers have had mandatory footwear policies that put style over safety and require female servers to wear high heels,” Gray said.