Saskatchewan

Changes coming to Earls after allegations of sexist dress code

The Earls restaurant chain is changing its dress code after allegations of sexism when it came to how female servers were asked to dress.

A former Earls employee in Regina is glad to see changes coming to the restaurant chain

Earls has announced that they will be changing their dress code after allegations of sexism. (Neil Herland/CBC)

The Earls restaurant chain is changing its dress code after allegations of sexism when it came to how female servers were asked to dress.

Emily Megan worked at the restaurant for several years. 

"I had to bring more than a few pairs of shoes to work to stay comfortable and even at that you still end the night in pain," Megan said. 

Earls, one of Canada's largest casual dining chains, decided to change its policy after an investigation by the CBC-TV program Marketplace on sexism in the restaurant industry.

Representatives from the restaurant in Vancouver released a statement earlier this week on the changes. 

"Men and women may choose varying heel heights from a walking shoe or short boot. Many of our female servers do choose to wear high heels. At this time, if they wish to, they are permitted as long as the shoes meet the safety requirements of a closed heel and toe," the chain said.

"Although our female service staff have a choice in what they wear, we understand that even our suggested dress code could be considered discriminatory as, although pants are allowed on request, the current suggested dress code is a black skirt, no shorter than one inch above the knee for women.

"We should be wording our suggested dress code as a black skirt, no shorter than one inch above the knee — or a straight cut plain black pant," Earls said.

The chain also said it hopes to have a dress code policy soon for all servers — male or female — with the same suggested style, and that this "plan has been in place for some time."

Megan now works at another Regina restaurant and said the owners allow her to express her individuality, rather than enforcing a strict dress code. 

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