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British Columbia kicks mandatory high heels in the workplace


Any woman can attest that with little ankle support and crushed toes, high heels are a real killer.

The British Columbia government recently changed the existing footwear requirements in its Occupational Health and Safety Regulation under the Workers Compensation Act to tackle specific health and safety standards for all workers' footwear, according to attorney Lisa Carlson with Borden Ladner Gervais L.L.P., who blogged about it on Monday.

And while the amended regulation doesn’t mention high heels, it now sets out a requirement for all workers' footwear to be "of a design, construction, and material appropriate to the protection required and that allows the worker to safely perform the worker's work" and precludes an employer from requiring a worker to wear footwear that is contrary to this requirement, she wrote. 

Bye, bye stilettos.

“In making this determination, a variety of factors must be considered, including slipping, tripping, uneven terrain, abrasion, ankle protection and foot support, potential for musculoskeletal injury, crushing potential, temperature extremes, corrosive substances, puncture hazards, electrical shock, and any other recognizable hazard,” Ms. Carlson explained.

“This does not mean that employers in B.C. cannot dictate what their workers wear on their feet or otherwise. An employer still has the right to set a dress code for its workplace, but it must comply with these new health and safety standards and cannot be discriminatory,” she wrote.