The internet is in an uproar after a woman posted an image of a waitress' bloody feet on Facebook.
Nicole Gavins, from Alberta, Canada, posted the photo of an unidentified female friend's feet to shed light on one restaurant's "sexist, archaic" dress policy.
"To anyone I know who eats at Joey Restaurants," she wrote on Facebook on May 3. "Their policy is still that female staff wear heels unless medically restricted, my friend's feet were bleeding to the point [where] she lost a toe nail."
According to Gavins, the waitress' supervisor still "berated" her for changing her shoes and told her that she would be required to wear heels during her next shift.
"In addition, the female staff have to purchase a uniform/dress at the cost of $30 while male staff can dress themselves in black clothing from their own closets," Gavins wrote.
"I have many friends in the service industry and know loads of ladies who still earn great tips without having to sacrifice their comfort while servinh," she added. "I'll choose to continue supporting those establishments."
The Facebook post has since gone viral, garnering over 1,600 reactions and 11,100 shares as of May 11.
"Run as far as possible from that abusive environment," Facebook user Deb Hanlon commented, according to Daily Mail. "Seek legal advice because on so many levels this place is breaking the law."
"Just tell people to boycott this restaurant," Carlos Vargas wrote. "It's crap to expect a woman to stand for eight hours in heels."
Gavins also uploaded a screenshot of the establishment's training manual, which states that female workers are required to wear shoes with a minimum 1 inch heel.
In an email to ATTN, communications manager Sasha Perrin said that heels are not a requirement:
Our current shoe guidelines require both male and female employees to wear a black dress shoe that is non-slip with a thick sole for safety reasons. Under this guide, they choose what is comfortable for them. There is no minimum height when it comes to our shoe policy. Shoes range from black dress flats, wedges and heels. For those employees wearing heels, we require the heel height to be no higher than 2.5 [inches].
She also responded to charges that Joey doesn’t pay its employees for training and forces female employees to purchase a uniform.
"In regards to our training pay and fees, we have always strictly followed provincial regulations regarding training pay," she wrote. "We do not charge a fee for uniforms. We do require a refundable deposit for serving related equipment from both male and female employees for serving related equipment. This deposit is not a fee and is repaid upon return of these items.
Wearing heels for long periods of time can damage muscles in the feet and stiffen the Achilles' tendon, decreasing the ankle's range of motion and increasing the likelihood of injury, according to ATTN.