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Apr 21, 8:44 AM EDT

UK rejects call to outlaw high-heel workplace dress codes

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LONDON (AP) -- The British government has rejected calls to outlaw companies from making women wear high heels at work, saying that kind of discrimination is already banned under existing law.

Heels became a hot topic in Britain after receptionist Nicola Thorp was sent home without pay from finance firm PwC in December 2015 for wearing flat shoes. She started an online petition that got so many signatures it triggered a debate in Parliament.

On Friday the government said the law already bans discrimination on gender grounds, and "dress codes must include equivalent requirements for both men and women."

It says it will issue new dress code guidance "to make the law clearer to employers and raise awareness among employees."

Thorp branded that "a cop-out."

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