Gina Florio
May 12, 2016 5:16 pm
Nicola Gavins / Facebook

A woman by the name of Nicola Gavins is sticking up for her friend on Facebook in the realest way. She posted a picture of her anonymous friend’s bloody, battered feet after she was forced to wear high heels waiting tables in Alberta, Canada. The policy at the restaurant where this friend works requires women to serve in sky-high pumps while the men can cruise around in whatever shoes they feel like.

In her post, which she posted a week ago, Nicola calls out the chain Joey’s Restaurant as the employer, and she writes, “Their policy is still that female staff wear heels unless medically restricted, my friends feet were bleeding to the point she lost a toe nail and she was still discouraged and berated by the shift manager for changing into flats (specifically told that heels would be required on her next shift the following day).” The post has been shared over 11,000 times already.

[facebook url=https://www.facebook.com/nicola.gavins/posts/10156847278270162]

The heels Nicola’s friend were coerced into wearing truly did a number on her feet. You can clearly see the blood that soaked through her socks and how swollen her feet are. But what isn’t visible to the naked eye is that her toenail came off due to the many hours in those heels.

In addition, the female staff have to purchase a uniform/dress at the cost of $30 while male staff can dress themselves in black clothing from their own closets (and are not required to wear heels),” Nicola says. “Sexist, archaic requirements and totally disgusting policy.”

We couldn’t agree more. Being a server at a busy restaurant is hard enough without the heels. It’s a job that often gets overlooked by many people who have never done it before. But make no mistake. It’s a tough gig. Out of the 2.4 million people who wait tables, 15 percent of them live in poverty, compared to the nation’s 7 percent in other lines of work. Many states allow restaurant employers to pay their servers less than the federal minimum wage. As if that weren’t enough, women are discriminated against in the restaurant business and required to physically harm themselves in the process, as Nicola is shouting from the rooftops.

Not surprisingly, Joey Restaurants isn’t owning up to it. Instead, they’re chalking it all up to a miscommunication of sorts. A spokesperson told ATTN, “There is no minimum height when it comes to our shoe policy. Shoes range from black dress flats, wedges and heels. For those employees wearing heels, we require the heel height to be no higher than 2.5

I suppose no one is going to apologize for the manager in Alberta who specifically told Nicola’s friend that she had to return to work the next day strapped in the very heels that gave her bloody feet? Not cool. Hopefully Nicola’s post will continue to raise awareness around these wildly unfair conditions.

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