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It's Finally Illegal To Force Women To Wear Heels To Work | Fairygodboss
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Editorial
Lawmakers In Canada Finally Outlawed Forcing Women To Wear This To Work
Kaspars Grinvalds / Adobe Stock
Fairygodboss
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Women in Canada’s British Columbia province need no longer fear spraining their ankles for the sake of staying employed.

That’s because lawmakers have finally made it illegal for employers to force their female employees to wear heels to work, as evidenced by a recent amendment to the 1996 Workers Compensation Act. 

When announcing the change in law, B.C. Premier Christy Clark called the now-obsolete heel requirement “dangerous and discriminatory.”

“There is a risk of physical injury from slipping or falling, as well as possible damage to the feet, legs, and back from prolonged wearing of high heels while at work,” Clark said.

This law reversal comes in the wake of a case recently brought to the U.K.’s Parliament by Nicola Thorp, who was allegedly told to go home without pay after arriving to her temporary receptionist gig in flats.

Refusing to purchase the pair of 2-4 inch heels mandated by her temp agency, Thorp instead started a petition against mandatory gendered uniforms. The petition, which garnered more than 150,000 signatures, made it all the way to Parliament in April — where it was ultimately rejected.

Rather than pass a true ban on sexist dress codes — which, in theory, should already be covered under Britain’s 2010 Equality Act — politicians voted instead to leave the issue to employers’ discretion, asking them to review their dress codes and “consider whether they remain relevant and lawful.”

Some women do prefer to wear heels to work, it should be noted, but it should only ever be just that — their preference. And to Parliament’s ambiguous response, we can’t help but second the words of Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who wrote on Twitter:

“The next petition should be one requiring men to wear high heels for a 9 hour shift before they insist women do.”

 

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