Required heels a thing of the past as province changes footwear requirements

Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA pleased with changes on heels of private members bill

Hot on the heels of a bill tabled by MLA Andrew Weaver on International Women’s Day, the government amended the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation under the Workers Compensation Act to include that “potential for musculoskeletal injury” must be considered in determining appropriate footwear.

Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, tabled a bill that would ensure employers do not set footwear requirements for employees based on gender, gender expression or gender identity. The bill would prevent employers from requiring select employees, for example, wear high-heeled shoes in the workplace.

“When I first tabled this bill it went viral and received media coverage around the world. Forcing female employees to wear high-heeled shoes, especially when their male colleagues are wearing flat shoes, is archaic and this change is clearly overdue,” said Weaver.

“Over the last month, my office has been inundated with messages from people in countless sectors sharing their experience of being forced to wear heels at work. Waiters, bartenders, lawyers, people in the retail and hospitality industry wrote in to my office. I have even heard from people who work within the B.C. Legislature! They talked about sexism, objectification, bleeding feet, sore knees, hips, and backs, long term damage, and called for this practice be officially changed.”

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

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