>>I’m just calling to see if you can tell me, first of all, if you’re hiring.>>I’m looking for a job.>>Ooh, they have a hostess job.>>Okay, a second job.>>Is there a dress code that I would have to follow.>>Yes so, we have a uniform.>>Apply now.>>I’m applying to four popular spots. Earl’s, Moxie’s, Jack Astor’s and Joey restaurants. We’re told your favourite restaurant chains have strict dress codes for their female staff. So we’re going in to find out. But first, I’m going to need to dress the part. (♪♪) Time to get a makeover. I’m told this is what it’s gonna take to get a job. From hair…>>Nice and big.>>To make-up.>>I need a night-out feel.>>Let’s get started. (♪♪) >>Pretty high fashion just for serving food. (♪♪) Time to go to work.>>I’m packing more than just my resume for these job interviews.>>There’s a microphone there.>>My outfit, it’s rigged with hidden cameras. (♪♪) First stop, Earl’s. With 57 locations across the country.>>Hi.>>We want to know what they’ll reveal about their dress codes.>>That’s quite a list. And Allison and Kaitlyn Ferri say it got much longer.>>I thought it was absurd.>>They’re sisters and restaurant insiders. Allison worked at an Earl’s location in Winnipeg in 2010.>>Depending on what shape you are, if you’re curvey, sporty, or thin, they would provide suggestions for looks.>>And ever heard of the fingertip rule?>>So basically, your skirt, best length for your skirt would be fingertip so you hold your arms straight out beside you and wherever your fingertips hit, that’s where your skirt wanted to fall so about six inches above my knee. Which was awful if you wanted to bend over which is part of being a server.>>Earl’s tells us their servers have to wear skirts but insist they shouldn’t be short.>>What reasons were you given for the dress code?>>They were trying to say it was trendy but it was — again it was sexual.>>Earl’s says they recommend a one-inch heel but say some women choose to wear higher heels. Allison says there was no choice. She felt forced to wear high heels on long shifts for four years and thinks it contributed to her chronic health problems.>>I have one foot that has a bone that’s permanently out of place. I’ve got hip joint, like all sorts of problems in my back, in my lower body that are all from wearing heels.>>What would you call it, if you could sum it up, what is it they’re doing?>>They’re sexualizing women, specifically women. And they’re selling sex which sounds terrible because I worked in it, but it’s the closest thing you can get to the adult industry without actually being in the adult industry.>>Were the dress code rules for your male colleagues as strict?>>They had a couple guidelines, again the button-down shirt, a tie, if that was the look they were going for at the time. Dress shoes. Black pants.>>M’hm, sounds like a double standard. My feet are starting to get sore. But this undercover job hunt isn’t over. Let’s hear what Jack Astor’s has to say.>>Jenn Hatcher reveals more about the dos and don’ts of Jack Aster’s dress code.>>We were told we needed to go to Lululemon and purchase a tennis skort and then we were told as women we would have to wear hair down, not pinned back off of our face in any way, and three out of five pieces of jewellery, so earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings or hair embellishment, yeah, and a wristwatch.>>It’s a pretty detailed list.>>I thought it was a joke. I was laughing, but it was serious.>>Two weeks in, she slips up and gets in trouble.>>He inspected my uniform and told me I had to go home to put on more jewellery.>>How did that make you feel?>>Not good. I didn’t think that was fair or right. My male colleagues there didn’t have to wear jewellery if they didn’t want to, so yeah, I just left.>>So in the summer of 2014, she walked out and never went back.>>There was a lot of pressure to wear make-up and look like you were going to the bar not coming from the bar was the motto.>>I find that very telling. (♪♪) >>Professor Joanne St. Louis teaches law at the University of Ottawa.>>You are sexualizing them to such a degree that they are to look inviting and appealing so that the garments and other things about them are to be commented on. You might as well put on a sign and say tolerating sexual harassment is part of this job component.>>She feels these dress code policies could be violating women’s human rights.>>The male employees are doing exactly the same tasks as the female employees and they are clearly hired, retained, promoted, and they do not need to sexualize their clothing. That’s the bottom line.>>Jack Astor’s is investigating Jenn’s complaint and says they give their employees the option to wear yoga pants and they treat all their employees with respect and dignity but Jenn says that’s not how she felt.>>Well, it just seems like some of these chain restaurants are entering a grey zone between like strip club and restaurant that serves food.>>And she’s not alone. For months, we hear from insiders. Former restaurant workers from across the country revealing how they felt forced to dress like they were on the menu. I witnessed a waitress get sent home because her skirt was too long. My body has been objectified and sexualized. I still feel the effects of being forced to work in heels for 6 to 15-hour shifts five days a week. Restaurants tell us they’re just serving you what you want. So we’re testing if that’s true. One worker, two very different outfits. One with heels and a skirt and the other with pants and flats. Do you really care what your server wears?>>To be honest, I don’t have a preference for either.>>Some aren’t shy about their preference to see a little skin.>>I prefer the short skirt.>>You prefer the short skirt.>>Versus the pants.>>But for the majority of you, it doesn’t really matter.>>It’s sort of about the food, not about what my server is wearing.>>Do you think what the waitress is wearing has any effect on how I feel.>>I’m more interested in the environment of the restaurant.>>Hidden cameras rolling, I’m off to my third interview at Moxie’s. Kaitlyn Ferri says it went beyond that when she waited tables at moxie’s in 2014.>>They give you this manual about this thick, and this manual dictates every aspect of your outfit down to the height of your heels, fitted tight black pants. You had to have an evening glamorous make-up look whether you were working day or nightshift.>>You know, you don’t want to be described as a sexual person unwillingly and that’s how I felt I had to be.>>Moxie’s says they updated their dress code guidelines last summer but when we go in and take a look, by choice or company policy, almost all the female staff are still wearing high heels and some are wearing short skirts, too. Finally, my last job interview, at Joey restaurants. Here, they’re pretty clear about the dress code policy.>>Minimum three-inch heels? Talk about high standards. Joey tells us this supervisor was misinformed. Three inches is actually the maximum. They also say they’ll follow up with all management teams to ensure they understand their dress code. Meantime, we’ve obtained this Joey manual. It spells out their dress code and most of the models appear to be wearing three-inch heels. Allison and Kaitlyn Ferri say at the restaurants they worked at, they had to follow the rules or else. What would happen if you didn’t follow the dress code?>>So once or twice you could sort of slip. After that, they start to question whether you really want to work in the restaurant and they would put it that way, do you really want to work here, is this really the place for you? And then it would basically start to reflect in your shifts and — >>What do you mean by that?>>So you would stop getting as many shifts.>>It’s really frustrating, I didn’t serve because I wanted to, I served because I needed the money. I needed to pay my rent. (♪♪).>>So do you think these restaurant chains are serving up sexism?>>It’s not necessary. That’s it.>>What would you say?>>It’s about the food not your wait staff.>>It’s 2016, it’s time for equality. Women everywhere are pushing for it, men should be pushing for it too. Let’s figure this out.>>None of the restaurants in our story would talk on camera but maybe they will listen to you. Tell them what you think about sexy dress codes. Fill out our restaurant comment card at cbc.ca/marketplace.>>Could speeders be right and the signs be wrong?>>We are being punished for safe behaviour. And that it what should stop.