Sexy outfits for woman servers isn't anything new. Anyone who's been to a Hooters or a Tilted Kilt can testify to that. One doesn't naturally expect a feast for the eyes when at more family-oriented chain restaurants, however.
And now, the "sexy server outfit" -- high heels, tight skirts and heavy makeup -- may violate Canada's employee human rights codes, according to experts.
The CBC investigated dress codes at several of Canada's top chain restaurants where they were told by women servers that they felt pressured to wear revealing outfits or fear losing shifts.
Another waitress said she frequently got "unwanted attention that kind of comes with the outfits that we were wearing." Another said she was told she "needed to show more skin" when she was just a 17-year-old waitress.
Canadian human right codes state that employers can't discriminate against individuals based on their sex. According to Joanne St. Lewis, a law professor for University of Ottawa, forcing women to wear revealing outfits is exactly that.
Male servers at Ottawa restaurant Union Local 613 decided to walk a mile in their female counterparts' high heels after the CBC report was released. They donned miniskirts and high heels to show solidarity for women who are pressured to dress sexy on the job.
The men lasted only a couple of hours before tapping out of the clothing. Physical discomfort aside, the men talked about feeling "vulnerable" and "uncomfortable" while they worked.
The male servers noted that what they went through isn't exactly what it's like for women in the industry, they now have a better understanding of what it feels like to be in the "center of attention" because of one's clothes and body.
It's about choice
Both owners of Union Local 613 acknowledged that the "sexy server" outfit is perfectly fine if the server chooses that's the outfit she wants to work in. It shouldn't, however, be required.
Earls, one of Canada's top restaurant chains, has already changed it's dress policy, clarifying that women can choose to wear a skirt or pants. Previously, the dress code was worded that the woman server needed to request permission to wear pants instead of a skirt.
What are your thoughts about women servers and required sexy dress codes? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Waitress legs image by Chris Goldberg