Commission wants to end sexualized dress codes

Toronto, March 11 (CINEWS): If the Ontario Human Rights Commission has its way, many restaurant staffers will be wearing no-nonsense dresses and ankle length skirts. They are calling for an end to sexualized dress codes they believe discriminates against female and transgender workers.

Staff at the popular Tilted Kilt Sports Bar

Staff at the popular Tilted Kilt Sports Bar

Chief commissioner Renu Mandhane says employers must make sure their dress codes don’t reinforce sexist stereotypes.
Mandhane says policies requiring women to wear low-cut tops, short skirts or high heels could violate the Human Rights code, and they send a message than an employees’ worth is tied to how they look.
In a policy position paper released today on gender-specific dress codes, the Commission said women should not be expected to dress in a sexualized way to attract clients.
“This treatment is often visible in bars, restaurants and other services that require women to dress in high heels, tight dresses, low-cut tops and short skirts,” it said in a release.
“These dress codes persist across the restaurant industry, despite human rights decisions that have found them to be discriminatory. They may make employees more vulnerable to sexual harassment, contribute to discriminatory work environments and exclude people based on sex, gender identity…or creed.”
Dress codes in certain establishments are in place depending on the bar or restaurant, its theme and female staff working there aren’t forced to continue working if they find it offensive. Plenty of women won’t apply to establishments that have these requirements.
Will the Ontario Human Rights Commission take aim at sexist print and television ads? Why stop at private establishments that have ‘sexist’ dress codes, take on the designers, advertising industry and Hollywood!

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