British lawmakers debate high heel job requirement
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - British lawmakers have taken up the issue of employers requiring women to wear high heels on the job.
During a three-hour debate in the House of Commons on Monday, Equalities Minister Caroline Dinenage condemned all discriminatory dress codes.
"Shod in heels or flats, we are collectively putting our foot down and attitudes are changing and this petition has brought that change very clearly into the public domain," said Dinenage as reported on SkyNews.
The debate came after more than 150,000 people signed a petition calling for an end to a requirement of high heels in the workplace. It was launched by receptionist Nicola Thorp, who was sent home from work when she refused to wear high heels.
While the debate is non-binding, a committee of lawmakers found that "discriminatory dress codes" were commonplace and called for urgent action.
An investigation into the claims found that female employees were sometimes "threatened with dismissal if they complained. Some were forced to endure pain all day, to wear clothing that was totally unsuitable for the tasks that they were asked to perform, or to dress in a way that they felt sexualised their appearance and was demeaning."