Monday, June 10, 2013

Hostie’s foot: Kiss My Foot Coalition

Spare a thought for service personnel and waitpersons that spend most of their working lives on their feet. 40 hours or more a week of weight bearing sometimes on hard and unforgiving floors necessitate wearing comfortable and well fitting shoes. Sometimes employers’ dress codes however prevent this and as a result hosties are left to suffer work related injuries such as heel pain and foot strain. Many have no alternative but to seek professional care to alleviate the resulting pain from foot related injuries. Now a union representing cocktail waitresses at the largest casino in the US is fighting for the servers to wear shoes of their own choosing. The union has been told servers can be exempted with a doctor’s note for up to a year but would then have to resign or take another position. Cocktail waitresses sought the help of their union partly because of their concerns that older workers were vulnerable. From Las Vegas to Atlantic City, footwear for cocktail waitresses has been a spiky issue as image-conscious casinos encourage dress codes to help attract customers. A coalition formed more than a decade ago in Nevada challenged casinos with rallies against high heels. In New Jersey in the 1990s, female servers sued the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, which had waitresses dubbed ‘‘Borgata Babes’’ wear high heels and cleavage-baring bustiers. The lawsuit was settled in 2008.

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