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Alberta is taking steps to ban mandatory high heels in the workplace



EDMONTON – Alberta has taken steps to ban employers from enforcing people with high heels at work.

Labor Minister, Christina Gray, said the province was reforming the occupational health and safety code that currently enables employers to enforce high heels.

"Our government has back to every employee and today we are also looking for your feet," said Gray on Friday.

Ontario and British Columbia banned mandatory compulsory heels in 2017 and Manitoba has been the same this year. The changes of Alberta will come into effect January 1.

Gray said she had heard from the administrators who said high heels were causing them pain and put them in danger of failing and falling.

Lisa Caputo, co-owner of Cibo Bistro in Edmonton, said his previous experiences in the restaurant industry included wearing two-inch heels.

"Working almost half of my industrial career in a workplace that demanded unsafe and uncomfortable shoes has left my feet in diamond shape of the shoes I used from eight to 10 hours," he said.

He had not had to wear heels for eight years, but he still felt pain in his feet, he said.

"Working in an environment where service and food looks and clothes, you lose self worth as a woman," says Caputo. "You're quite an object that's what we liked."

Gray said that no one should be forced to wear any kind of shoes that could cause health or safety problems. He said that the amendment will ban all employers in each sector to ask workers to use shoes that could cause risks.

"Women still have the choice to wear high heels but they can not be enforced, especially in unsafe working environments," he said.


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