Of High Heels And Discrimination

Wonder if the UK Parliament thought that in these times of Brexit and possible existential crisis it would be debating whether employers should be prohibited from forcing female employees to wear high heels?

It has been reported that members of Parliament “have called for a review of the 2010 Equality Act after receiving hundreds of reports of dresscode discrimination.  Women told two Commons’ committees how employers demanded they wear revealing clothes, dye their hair blonde and constantly reapply their make-up while at work.”

The Parliamentary inquiry was a result of a petition started by a woman “who was sent home by her employer, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in London, on her first day with them because she refused to wear heels. Her petition to make this dresscode policy illegal reached more than 150,000 signatures.”

Takeaway:  The intrepid employee said it best:  “This wasn’t just about shoes. It was about the treatment of women in the workplace.  We now need to see the government take these recommendations on board. The law should not just be changed but enforced.”

PS:  A BBC Business Reporter, Catherine Snowden, asked in an article “Is it illegal to ask a woman to wear high heels for work?”  Read her article, UK folks!



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Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]