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  1. New OHRC report says sexualized dress codes “not on the menu”

    March 8, 2017

    To coincide with International Women’s Day, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has released a new report that outlines commitments made by many of Ontario’s largest and most well-known restaurant chains to eliminate discriminatory dress codes for restaurant staff. Not on the Menu: Inquiry report on sexual and gender-based dress codes in Ontario’s restaurants outlines findings from an inquiry into dress codes at certain restaurants operating across Ontario.

  2. General comments on uniforms

    From: Not on the menu: OHRC inquiry report on sexualized and gender-based dress codes in restaurants

    Some restaurant companies underscored the value of uniforms and dress codes in promoting the company brand, ensuring a professional and consistent look, distinguishing staff from patrons, and addressing health and safety-related concerns (such as non-slip footwear, reducing risk of accidents relating to jewelry, and not getting hair in food). These are all legitimate business interests, as long as the requirements do not have a discriminatory Code-related impact.

  3. Appendix C: Sample gender-neutral dress code policy

    From: Not on the menu: OHRC inquiry report on sexualized and gender-based dress codes in restaurants

    These are examples of gender-neutral dress code descriptions based on dress codes already in use in Ontario restaurants, including a wide range of styles and degrees of formality. Note: all positions should include a pants option.

    Below each option they may wish to include, companies can set out guidelines, such as colour, source, style, fabric type and/or pattern, and how the item is to be worn (such as options to roll sleeve or pant cuffs, limitations on skirt or shorts length, any seasonal limitations on wearing the item, etc.).

  4. Appendix B: Policy position

    From: Not on the menu: OHRC inquiry report on sexualized and gender-based dress codes in restaurants

    OHRC policy position on sexualized and gender-specific dress codes

    Some Ontario employers require female employees to dress in a sexualized or gender-specific way at work, such as expecting women to wear high heels, short skirts, tight clothing or low-cut tops. These kinds of dress codes reinforce stereotypical and sexist notions about how women should look and may violate Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

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