Warning: This article contains a graphic image of bloody feet
A photo of a waitress' feet covered in blood after she completed a long shift wearing heels has sparked outrage about "sexist" uniforms online.
On Facebook, Nicola Gavins claimed her friend works as a waitress at a branch of Canadian chain Joey Restaurants.
"Their policy is still that female staff wear heels unless medically restricted, my friend's feet were bleeding to the point she lost a toe nail and she was still discouraged and berated by the shift manager for changing into flats (specifically told that heels would be required on her next shift the following day)," she said.
"Sexist, archaic requirements and totally disgusting policy. "
Gavins went on to claim that female staff at the restaurant have to purchase a uniform at the cost of $30 (£16) while male staff can dress themselves in black clothing from their own wardrobes and are not required to wear heels.
"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 serving. I'll choose to continue supporting those establishments," she said.
Gavins' status has now been shared more than 11,000 times, with hundreds of people commenting to condemn companies that require women to wear heels to work.
Samantha Harrop said: "Good for you for making a stand and sticking up for us industry girls .. I too have worked to the point of bleeding feet and it really sucks."
Christine Doyle added: "Whoever asks you to wear heels, should also be wearing heels!"
A spokesperson for Joey restaurants told ATTN the chain was "upset to see the post".
They said the company's shoe policy has "no minimum height" and staff can choose to wear black dress flats, wedges or heels.
"Our employees’ feedback is extremely important to us, so we wanted to hear directly from her about her experience. After speaking with her, we followed up with our management team and employees to ensure everyone has the correct information and training materials around our policies and guidelines," they said.
"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."