By: Elizabeth Cameron For Metro Published on British Columbia’s move to ban mandatory high heels in the workplace could give rise to similar changes in Alberta. Last Friday, B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced amendments to the footwear regulation under the Workers' Compensation Act (WCA). “This change will let employers know that the most critical part of an employee’s footwear is that it is safe,” Clark said in a statement. “I expect employers to recognize this very clear signal that forcing someone to wear high heels at work is unacceptable.” Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray told Metro she has been monitoring the developments in B.C. with interest and is committed to having a similar conversation in this province. (We) recognize high heels in particular can cause health and safety concerns for workers,” Gray said, and added that no woman should face discrimination at work because of her gender. A private members bill introduced by B.C. Green party Leader Andrew Weaver last month would have made it illegal for employers to require women to wear high heels at work, but instead of implementing the bill, the government amended the WCB. The amended regulation says employers cannot force workers to wear footwear with a design, construction or material that inhibits the worker’s ability to safely perform their job, and employers have to consider slipping, ankle protection, foot support, muscle or bone injuries, and electrical shock when considering mandatory footwear.
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