Independent
journalism that swims
against the current.
Tyee News

Tyee’s ‘Slaves to Tips’ Series Chosen as Finalist for Webster Award

Stories by Rachel Sanders exposed sexism and poor working conditions in BC’s restaurant industry.

Tyee Staff 6 Sep 2017TheTyee.ca

A 2017 Tyee series on sexism and dress codes in the restaurant industry is a finalist for a Jack Webster Award in the category of business, industry and economics.

In her three-part series “Slaves to Tips: How BC Laws Fuel Sexism on the Job,” reporter Rachel Sanders interviewed many women who face sexual harassment in their jobs serving food and drink. She found B.C. cuts to server minimum wages and reduced enforcement have made their situation worse.

The series detailed discriminatory dress codes in the industry, as well as cuts to the Employment Standards Branch that have resulted in poor enforcement of employment laws.

The series brought about legislative change that will potentially improve working conditions for female restaurant servers. On March 8, Green Party leader Andrew Weaver — citing Sanders’ reporting in the B.C. legislature — introduced a bill that would make it illegal to have differing dress code requirements for male and female employees.

On April 7, the B.C. government amended the footwear regulation of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation under the Workers Compensation Act. The amended regulation stated that employers may not require footwear that does not allow workers to safely perform their work, effectively banning dress codes that require restaurant servers to wear high heels at work.

“After everything I heard from women working in the restaurant industry, it was extremely satisfying to see this story get the attention of politicians and policy makers,” Sanders said of the Webster nomination, which was announced Wednesday.

“It’s an honour to have my work acknowledged by the Jack Webster Foundation. And what a thrill it is to see this series in the company of the outstanding pieces of journalism in the Business, Industry and Economics category.”

Other nominees in the category include Kathy Tomlinson of the Globe and Mail for “Losing the Farm,” and the team of Erica Johnson, James Roberts, Amar Parmar, Karen Burgess and Alison Broddle at CBC Vancouver for “The Big Sell: How bank employees turn customers into targets.”

The winner will be revealed at the Webster Awards dinner on Oct. 12 at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver.  [Tyee]

  • Share:

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion.
*Please note The Tyee is not a forum for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, denying its existence or minimizing its risk to public health.

Do:

  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others
  • Personally attack authors or contributors
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

How Are You Engaging with Black History Month?

Take this week's poll