Dressing down discriminatory dress codes

Sexualized and gender-based dress codes off the menu at Ontario restaurants
By Nadia Zaman
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/15/2017

This year, on International Women’s Day, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released a new report, Not on the Menu: Inquiry Report on Sexual and Gender-based Dress Codes in Ontario’s Restaurants. It outlines findings from an inquiry into dress codes at various Ontario restaurants and commitments made by a number of restaurant chains to put an end to discriminatory dress codes for restaurant staff — particularly female and transgender workers — and create more inclusive workplaces.

The result: Sexual harassment and gender-based dress codes are off the menu and will no longer be tolerated. Thus, employers with discriminatory dress codes expose themselves to liability.

The impetus for this report arose because some restaurants have dress codes that require female servers to wear short skirts, tight dresses, high heels or low-cut tops; the same does not apply to male servers.