Viral photo of waitress' bloody feet after working in high heels causes outrage

By Samantha Luiz
12 May 2016

A disturbing image showing a waitress' bloodied feet after working an eight-hour shift in high heels has sparked outrage over the company's "sexist, archaic" dress code requirement.

Nicola Davis took to Facebook to share the photo of her waitress friend who works at one of the Joey Restaurants in Alberta, Canada.

In the photo's caption, she explains that it's still the restaurant's policy 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)," she wrote.

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In an interview with CBC News, the waitress says that she approached her manager when her feet hurt on her first day of training.

In response, the manager reportedly told her to invest in a pair of better high heels - which she bought.

However, close to the end of her second training shift, she could no longer stand.

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"My feet were bleeding and swollen. I lost a couple of toe nails. I was just in tears," she revealed.

"I wear heels all the time, so it's not like I can't do it. But it's standing around for several hours on your feet in heels that's just impossible," said the waitress who has since quit her job.

"It's just sexist and unsafe."

"In addition, the female staff have to purchase a uniform/dress at the cost of 30$ (R449) while male staff can dress themselves in black clothing from their own closets (and are not required to wear heels)," Nicole added on Facebook.

"I have many friends in the service industry and know loads of ladies who still earn great tips without having to sacrifice their comfort while serving."

The explicit image has since garnered more than 11 500 shares and 2000 reactions since it was shared last week.

“This is pretty overwhelming, thanks to all the awesome people that have shared my post. Hopefully we see some positive changes and fair labour practices for people in the service industry.”

In response, Joey said that under their policy, employees "choose what is comfortable for them".

"There is no minimum height when it comes to our shoe policy," said Sasha Perrin, a Joey communications manager.

"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"."

The incident is just the latest in a string of allegations about some restaurants' "totally disgusting" dress codes.

Nicola Thorp, a receptionist was reportedly fired for not wearing high heels. The 27-year-old lost her temp job when she showed up at PwC’s offices in central London in flat shoes and no make-up.

"I expressed my confusion as to why [I was being turned away from work], and they explained that flat shoes are not part of their dress code for women," said Nicole, who's now campaigning for for it to be made illegal to force women to wear high heels and make up at work.

"The supervisor told me that I would be sent home without pay unless I went to the shop and bought a pair of two to four inch heels. I refused and was sent home."

We're curious: have you been forced to wear high heels or make-up to work? Have your say on our Facebook comments section.

Sources: cbc.ca, metro.co.uk, facebook.com

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