Premier Christy Clark is standing behind the BC Green Party in putting an end to required high heels for female restaurant staff.
Green Party leader Andrew Weaver is tabling a private member’s bill that, up until now, had only seen political support from the BC NDP.
Weaver’s announcement came last Wednesday, calling mandatory heels for service employees outdated and unsafe, followed Sunday by a Tweet from Clark saying “We’ll move to end this.”
BC Restaurant and Food Service Association CEO Ian Tostenson says service staff often feel obligated to wear heels, even if it’s not written in the rule book.
“You know it’s kind of like ‘you don’t have to, but wink wink, you better.'”
He says having staff spend a long day in painful footwear can have consequences for the employer too.
— Christy Clark (@christyclarkbc) March 12, 2017
“A worker slips and falls that’s wearing high heels, potential liability on that, WorkSafe now takes on the case and taxpayer now is on the hook for that person’s rehab.”
Tostenson also says it’s not just a local problem; much is being done elsewhere to put a stop to the uncomfortable obligation.
LISTEN HERE: Full interview with Ian Tostenson
“London recently dealt with it, brought in a law similar to what the Green Party’s suggesting. Vegas in 2002, casinos no longer required workers to wear high heels.”
He says part of the problem is a lack of women in management positions, which he’s working to help change.
Tostenson was speaking on CKNW Weekend with Tim Dickert.