toronto restaurants dresscode

Toronto restaurants could soon be banned from making servers wear heels

Bars and restaurants in Ontario could soon be prohibited from mandating that female employees wear high-heels at work.

Wait, what year are we in right now? Never mind.

Toronto MPP Cristina Martins is set to introduce a bill in Parliament today – which, for the record, is Oct. 17, 2017 – that amends the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act to protect workers from "being required to wear unsafe footwear as part of dress and uniform codes."

Martins does not take aim at any specific employer in her release about the bill, but it's clear, based on the experts she quotes, that her "Putting Your Best Foot Forward Act" is directed towards the hospitality industry – and specifically, how some bars and restaurants treat women.

Employee dress codes at so called "breastaurants" (places known for having scantily-clad female servers) have been the topic of much debate over the past few years, both in Canada and abroad.

Last year, an employee at a Joey's restaurant in Edmonton went public with her story about being told by management to wear heels during a training shift, despite intense pain and bleeding feet.

Servers from Moxies, Earl's, Jack Astor's and other establishments have since come forward with similar tales of strict, sometimes straight-up creepy dress code rules for women.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission came out against sexualized dress codes for women at work in March of 2016, and in April, the province of B.C. amended its own workplace legislation to ban employers from mandating that anyone wear high heels.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


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