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Footwear dress code and the law

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Lawrence Bevan, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Lawrence Bevan

    Lawrence Bevan Active Member


    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    Does anybody have an answer??? BTW I practice in the UK but I welcome responses from around the globe!

    "I cant wear those type of shoes they wont let me at work!!" We all hear this all the time of course.....

    Safety footwear in manual occupations excepted, is this legally allowable to prevent an employee from wearing medically necessary footwear on the basis of appearence?

    Lawrence
     
  2. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member

    Lawrence

    > is this legally allowable to prevent an employee from wearing medically necessary footwear on the basis of appearence?

    This is a gray area.

    An employee will normally work on property owned by their employer This would apply to leased properties and or working off site for that employer. As such the employer can determine what their empoyees wear should they choose to exercise that perogative. Usually the employee is covered with health and safety regulations and EO laws and hence emplyers rarely object.

    The same sumptuary control is seen when owners of public spaces such as shopping malls and swimming pools prevent public access based upon clothing (or the lack of it). In the UK, banning hoodies are a good example, elsewhere preventing entry to barefoot people or those wearing thongs. The law allows the owner of the private property in this case a public space, to prevent entry to people they do not want on that space. Usually this is a disguised attempt to perevent access to low socio-economical groups, cross dressers and sex workers. This is born out by the history of sumptury laws which go way back to antiquity.

    In the event an employee challenged an employer on the right to wear 'medially
    necessary' footwear, they are likely to win.

    What say you?
    toeslayer
     
  3. Adrian Misseri

    Adrian Misseri Active Member

    G'day Lawrence,

    I had a situation where a local bacon factory had issued all their employees with regulation boots, and had made them compulsory, as they met the required safety requirements for working at this particular factory. They were slip on boots, and for some of the employees ended up causing a string of foot complications. This lead to myself and my collegues in my practice to see somewhere in the ball park of 10 or so cases of foot injury in the first month of the boots being implemented. For each of these patinets, we simply wrote a letter explainging that the boots were not appropriate for each particular case and were causing injury. Under OH7S we suggetsed that the boots were not safe in each case and the patient would require more supportive lace up boots. Initially the factory refused, but after a couple of cases, they have agreed and will issue the appropriate footwear where needed.

    Polite, well worded letters can move mountains sometimes.....

    Good luck!
     
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