When do high heels become a workplace hazard?
A footwear dispute between casino waitresses and management spotlights issues ranging from health care costs to workers' rights.
Should female workers be allowed to wear practical, comfortable shoes at work, even if that workplace is a casino?
That's the issue unionized workers at North America's largest casino, the Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut, are dealing with.
The casino recently backtracked on a requirement that cocktail waitresses there wear 2-inch heels and instead allowed those employees to wear management-approved black shoes that can be polished.
But according to The Associated Press, some of the waitresses, who have worked at the casino since it opened in the early 1990s, wonder whether the shoe requirements were a way of forcing older workers out of their positions.
"Most of us girls have been here for 20 years, 15 years, 52-year-old cocktail waitress Cheryl Hasse told AP. "This job has really done a number on our feet, and they know it."
The health hazards of fashionable footwear, especially for women, have been recognized for ages. Think of Steve Martin's classic comedic story The Cruel Shoes. For employees who spend much of their workday on their feet, proper shoes can be essential and fashionable high heels can become the enemy.
A while back, the Washington Post reported that American women rack up about $3.5 billion each year in bills for foot surgeries, which in turn causes them to lose 15 million workdays annually.
The Post also quoted the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which said women account for about 90% of all surgeries performed for common foot ailments and that foot problems "resulting from poorly fitting shoes have reached epidemic proportions and pose a major health risk for women in America."
The dispute over high heels also brings up larger labor issues, such as workplace dress codes and at-will employment, whereby a worker can be fired at any time and for a wide variety of reasons, including an employer's disapproval of an employee's manner of dress or grooming.
AP reports that when it comes to being required to wear high heels at work, female casino workers have been challenging their employers for years.
Connecticut podiatrist Dr. Eric Levine told the wire service he often treats casino waitresses who wear heels at work and counsels them to give up the shoes for medical reasons. However, he noted, "several have told me they're not going to stop wearing them. The higher the heel, the larger the tip."
Now what was the question? Oh yes....When do high heels become hazardous?
...I would say, when a woman can use them to kill someone, as what
happened the other day. Other than that, they still look amazing,
even on "james dean"...
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Thursday session on a mixed note ahead of Friday's nonfarm payrolls report for February (Briefing.com consensus 163K). The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.4%) and S&P 500 (+0.2%) posted modest gains while the Nasdaq Composite (-0.1%) lagged throughout the session.
Equities began the trading day on an upbeat note following comments from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank, both of which reaffirmed their commitment to ... More
More Market News
Consumers are very status conscious in Asia, Africa and other emerging-market areas. This is especially true in China.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'