Andalusia says trouser-wearing nurses have right to sue
Acting health chief said regional government will not tolerate any violations of Spain's Gender Equality Law28 March 2008
MADRID - Andalusia's acting health chief, María Jesús Montero, on Thursday said that the regional government will not tolerate any violations of Spain's Gender Equality Law after nurses at a private clinic in Cádiz complained of having part of their pay docked for refusing to wear skirts.
The employees of the San Rafael Clinic said they lost a EUR 30 a month productivity bonus when they started turning up for work in sweatpants issued to their male colleagues in violation of what they call the healthcare company's "discriminatory" dress code.
"We feel like ornaments. We don't have freedom of movement, we can't bend over to tend to patients. We are made to expose our bodies to do our work," complained Adela Sastre, the head of the San Rafael Clinic's workers' committee.
The clinic says it is merely enforcing the dress code enacted in 1997 before Spain's equality law went into effect and would lose money if it had to provide alternative uniforms to female employees.
The Andalusian government says it is making the legal services of the regional Women's Institute available to the women to press charges.
[Copyright El Pais 2008]