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B.C. premier pledges action for workers forced to wear high heels on the job

B.C Premier Christy Clark speaks to a crowd at an anti-bullying event in Burnaby, B.C., on Wednesday, February 22, 2017. Legislation that would make it illegal to require women to wear high heels on the job in British Columbia is getting support from Premier Clark.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ben Nelms
March 13, 2017 - 1:15 PM

VANCOUVER - Legislation that would make it illegal to require women to wear high heels on the job in British Columbia is getting support from Premier Christy Clark.

"In some workplaces in B.C., women are still required to wear high heels on the job," Clark wrote on her verified Facebook page. "This isn't just old-fashioned; in 2017, it's unacceptable."

Clark says she backs the intent of a private member's bill introduced last week by B.C.'s Green party leader, Andrew Weaver.

The bill he introduced on International Women's Day would prevent employers from setting footwear requirements based on gender.

Clark's Facebook entry posted Sunday promises that the government will take action, saying "this practice needs to stop"

There's no indication in Clark's post if the Liberals will back Weaver's bill or bring in separate legislation.

In the United Kingdom, MPs debated a ban last week on mandatory workplace high heels in response to a petition started by a receptionist who was sent home without pay for wearing flat shoes. The debate was non-binding, but the government promised to act against heel-height rules, makeup guidelines and other corporate codes that apply to women but not to men.

Nicola Thorp was told in December 2015 that her flat shoes were unacceptable for a temporary assignment in London with finance firm PwC.

Her employment agency, Portico, had a dress code specifying that female workers must wear non-opaque tights, have hair with "no visible roots," wear "regularly re-applied" makeup — and appear in shoes with a heel between five and 10 centimetres high.

Thorp started an online petition, calling formal workplace dress codes "outdated and sexist." It gathered more than 150,000 signatures, making it eligible for a debate in Parliament.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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