October 18, 2016 2:12 pm
Updated: October 20, 2016 7:23 am

Staff at Calgary Shark Club angry with new uniform, mandatory heels

WATCH ABOVE: A Calgary server is baring her blistered feet to protest changes to the wardrobe policy at a local sports bar. The Shark Club north location no longer allows female servers to wear t-shirts, jeans and flat heels. But as Mia Sosiak reports, the restaurant chain is defending the decision.


Staff members at a Calgary restaurant are speaking out about changes to their uniform which they say includes mandatory heels.

Global News was contacted by two employees at the Shark Club location on Barlow Trail N.E. who claim their new uniforms, which include black tank tops and a pencil skirt, also require they wear heels between one and three inches high.

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“They told us last week they’d be ordering them in – that’d we have to pay for the new uniforms and buy our own shoes,” Daisy, who asked her real name not be used, said in a phone interview.

According to Daisy, the previous uniform was skinny jeans, flat shoes and a Shark Club t-shirt – which was supplied to staff.

She said she wore the new uniform last week, and complains it wasn’t comfortable.

“I wouldn’t have started working there had I known I had to wear a skirt and a tank top,” Daisy said.

“I’m mostly upset about the shoes. I really don’t like wearing the skirt and tank top either – but the shoes [are] the worst part for sure.”

When asked what her first reaction was to the new uniforms, she said she thought “I need to find a new job.”

READ MORE: Are Moxie’s staff required to wear high heels? Servers say yes

Employee Janice, who also asked for her real name not to be used, said men at the eatery are asked to wear dress shoes, black pants and a collared shirt.

“They were able to order jerseys of specific teams – so they can wear jerseys behind the bar.”

When asked if women were given the option of wearing a sports jersey, Janice said “no.”

Both women complain it’s not reasonable for them to work their shifts in heels.

“It’s one thing if you have to wear heels or dress shoes to work when you work in an office – half the time you’re on carpeted floors and most the time you can take put your shoes off under your desk – but we’re on our feet all day long,” Janice complained.

“My feet feel like they’re doing to explode”

“I have blisters all over my feet,” Daisy echoed. “I’m covered in Band-Aids right now.”

READ MORE:‘I don’t think the girls thought they could question it’: high heels policy study author

Meanwhile, Daisy said the new uniform “attracts a different type of crowd.”

“I was more comfortable with the crowd, the clientele that we already had.”

Shark Club released the following statement to Global News Wednesday:

“At Shark Club, our wardrobe guidelines are in keeping with current fashion and are suitable to the professional, premium style of our sports bar. Over the years, we have explored and adjusted wardrobe guidelines. Most recently, earlier this month, we did make a change to our guidelines to accommodate feedback from our team.”

The bar also cited its current wardrobe guidelines:

“Shark Club is an adult-only bar. Male servers wear black denim jeans and their choice of solid black shirt; female servers wear their choice of black skirt that must be no shorter than six inches above the knee, but can be longer at each team member’s discretion; and a black dress shirt of their choice. Female and male team members are asked to wear a dressy shoe with a 1/2“ sole and defined heel.”

Editor’s Note: The names of the employees have been changed to protect their identities.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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