Ontario bill seeks to ban mandatory high heels as part of uniforms


TORONTO — An Ontario Liberal is introducing a bill today that would ban the province’s employers from requiring women to wear high heels at work.

The private member’s bill from Cristina Martins would amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act to protect workers from being required to wear unsafe footwear as part of dress and uniform codes.

The current footwear protections under the act deal more with industrial workplaces as well as health care facilities, with regulations to protect against specific hazards and foot injuries.

The president of the Ontario Podiatric Medical Association says wearing high heels causes a higher incidence of bunions, musculoskeletal pain and injury than those who do not wear high heels.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission issued a policy paper last year on gender-specific dress codes, saying women who work in restaurants and bars should not be forced to wear high heels, short skirts and low-cut tops.

Earlier this year, British Columbia banned mandatory high heels in the workplace.

The Canadian Press