WATCH: Two former employees of popular restaurant chain Moxie’s claim they were forced to wear high heels at work, no matter how painful. Heather Yourex explains.
CALGARY – The Moxie’s restaurant chain champions their “stylish environment”—but some Calgary servers are coming forward with claims they were forced to wear high heels at work.
“You had to wear heels whether you were a server, bartender or a hostess,” said Yara Altabbaa, who worked as a server for a year and half at the Westhills Moxie’s starting in summer of 2013.
Anja Micic, who worked as a hostess at Moxie’s on Macleod Trail from 2012 to 2013, claimed “every single girl” was required to wear heels.
“You had to wear heels, no flats were allowed,” said Micic. “It was Mother’s Day once and I was working, and my feet were in a lot of pain. And I asked my manager if I was allowed to switch to flats, and he said, ‘No.’”
But Moxie’s vice president of marketing told Global News the chain does “not require servers to wear high heels.”
“The standard heel height is 1/2” soled shoes in our dining rooms and 1 1/2” sleek heel shoes in our lounge sections,” said Sue Thomson in an email to Global News.
“In the lounge, we aim for a more sophisticated or “night out” feel. Always, every employee has the choice to work in the dining room if they prefer.”
Scroll down below the graphic to read the full statement from Moxie’s
WATCH: Earlier Global News told the story of two Calgary women who came forward after they were forced to wear high heels at a chain restaurant where they worked. Global’s Erika Tucker has the overwhelming social media response.
Contrary to the chain’s statement, Altabbaa said she was given no choice.
“If I wore flats, they would say, ‘Wear heels for next time’ or they have heels in the back that were provided,” she said.
“I have bunions, so they just got worse. And as a result, I had to get a surgery.”
Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic podiatrist Dr. Ian Russell doesn’t think it’s appropriate for any restaurant to enforce a high heel policy.
“It becomes a health and safety occupational issue, and it’s just not right,” said Russell.
Full statement from Moxie’s vice president of marketing, Sue Thomson:
“At Moxie’s we do not require servers to wear high heels.
Moxie’s wardrobe guideline is stylish and contemporary and allows our team members to present a polished look that projects the professionals they are.
The standard heel height is 1/2” soled shoes in our dining rooms and 1 1/2” sleek heel shoes in our lounge sections.
Our goal is to establish a tone of dress for the dining room that is suitable for its family oriented customer base. In the lounge, we aim for a more sophisticated or “night out” feel. Always, every employee has the choice to work in the dining room if they prefer. Both sections pay the same. Further, our policies are flexible and accommodate needed special requests.”