04:19 GMT +318 October 2019
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    Ontario Bill Aims to End Mandatory Heels in the Workplace

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    Women in Ontario may finally be able to ditch their office high heels if a new bill called the Putting Your Best Foot Forward Act 2017 succeeds.

    The bill, which was introduced by Parliament member for Davenport Cristina Martins, would prohibit employers from requiring employees to wear high heels in the workplace, which some Canadian company dress codes mandate. 

    "We've had some women coming forward and saying that as a result of them not wearing the mandatory high heels that they've missed shifts, they've been asked to stay home and in some cases lost their jobs — mostly in the food industry and the hospitality industry; that's where we see most of the complaints coming from," Martins said in a news release Tuesday.

    "Note that these dress codes are and always have been gendered and only women are expected to risk their personal safety to meet these unfair dress codes."

    The bill comes after the banning of mandatory heels in the workplace earlier this year in another province, British Columbia.

    According to President James Hill of the Ontario Podiatric Medical Association, frequently wearing heels is associated with higher rates of bunions, musculoskeletal pain and injury.

    "Ontario podiatrists see far too many patients with injuries in the workplace that are entirely avoidable that are caused by wearing footwear that is inappropriate or outright unsafe," Hill said in a statement.

    "Podiatrists treat foot pain and deformities in women twice as often as foot disabilities in men, often due to having to wear high heels in their workplaces."

    Last year, the Ontario Human Rights Commission issued a policy paper stating that women who work in restaurants and bars should not be required to wear short skirts, high heels and revealing tops.


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