TORONTO, ON – Craft beer focused gastropub chain Bier Markt has dropped a dress code for female servers that was branded “sexist and discriminatory” after an investigation by CBC News threatened to put a spotlight on the issue.
In the extensive CBC report, it’s revealed that effective October 5th of this year, a previous gender neutral uniform of black pants and a golf shirt was replaced with tight and revealing dresses and heeled shoes for female staff, while male staff were allowed to wear jeans, dress shirts and running shoes. Women were also forced to purchase the dresses for $70, and an accompanying server belt for $20, via payroll deduction.
Cara Operations Ltd., the parent company of Bier Markt and several other pub and restaurant chains, refused requests for an on-camera interview with CBC, but provided a written statement claiming that “staff at various Bier Markt locations were closely involved in the selection process” for the uniforms, and that “changes were made […] to optimize comfort and functionality,” including “adding options for additional footwear choices, hosiery, cardigans women can wear when they want, and an option for a longer length dress.”
Despite these changes, however, many female staff remained unhappy with the policy. With the knowledge that CBC would be airing a feature on the controversy, Bier Markt has restored a unisex uniform option, allowed women to return the dresses for a refund and wear the same jeans, dress shirt and running shoes combination as men if they prefer.
For more details, including the full article at CBC News.