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Old 05-11-2019, 09:00 AM
 
1,425 posts, read 799,536 times
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Due to complicated orthopedic issues I can't wear closed toe shoes for any length of time or I will suffer badly. I've tried every size, shape, brand, orthopedics, inserts, everything, and nothing works. Many jobs require closed toe shoes for purported safety reasons, most of which are well-accepted but unjustified in my opinion. Its like saying you are safer wrapped in a car. Not necessarily.



I'm not talking about industrial work environments where there might be a legitimate risk of dropping heavy materials on your feet or getting them run over by heavy forklift traffic or something. Most of the work I do is outside natural resources work where the biggest risk is stubbing a toe (which, by the way has never happened in 10 years of working outside as a private contractor in sandals), or hiking/biking. Some people have through-hiked the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails in sandals.



https://thetrek.co/freedom-little-fr...ikers-explain/



So is there any way to legally get an exception from this requirement that many employers have? In previous jobs that require closed toes and where I did unsupervised field work I've worn shoes to the office and once I get in the field where no smarter-than-I administrator was around, I put on my sandals.
But some jobs you can't get away from public contact or avoid having the supervisor see what you're wearing. If the health risk of wearing shoes are greater than wearing sandals, do I have any way to fight back or can they just say "sorry, thems the rules"? Most of the jobs I'd be looking at are either state or federal which could be good (they want to accommodate diversity and disability) or bad (they have idiotic, inflexible rules written by people who who never leave a desk).
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:46 AM
 
6,842 posts, read 3,716,925 times
Reputation: 18083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
... Most of the jobs I'd be looking at are either state or federal which could be good (they want to accommodate diversity and disability) or bad (they have idiotic, inflexible rules written by people who who never leave a desk).
You do understand that most safety rules aren't dreamed up in someone's imagination, but because someone actually got hurt. Whether you could get an accommodation for your specific issue will depend a lot on what the accommodation is and what the risks of the specific job are. Kind of reminds me of a conversation I had one time:

Me (new engineer): Should we relocate these relief values? They could discharge on someone standing here.

Crusty Foreman: We always install them that way because they're easier to work on.

Me: We could turn them the other way so they discharge away from the workers.

Crusty Foreman: They aren't a problem; they never dis...…

Relief Valve: PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT (right in Crusty Foreman's face).

Funny, next time I came by all the relief valves were turned the way I suggested. I didn't bother to say anything.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:49 AM
 
20,559 posts, read 16,625,375 times
Reputation: 38595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
Due to complicated orthopedic issues I can't wear closed toe shoes for any length of time or I will suffer badly. I've tried every size, shape, brand, orthopedics, inserts, everything, and nothing works. Many jobs require closed toe shoes for purported safety reasons, most of which are well-accepted but unjustified in my opinion. Its like saying you are safer wrapped in a car. Not necessarily.



I'm not talking about industrial work environments where there might be a legitimate risk of dropping heavy materials on your feet or getting them run over by heavy forklift traffic or something. Most of the work I do is outside natural resources work where the biggest risk is stubbing a toe (which, by the way has never happened in 10 years of working outside as a private contractor in sandals), or hiking/biking. Some people have through-hiked the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails in sandals.



https://thetrek.co/freedom-little-fr...ikers-explain/



So is there any way to legally get an exception from this requirement that many employers have? In previous jobs that require closed toes and where I did unsupervised field work I've worn shoes to the office and once I get in the field where no smarter-than-I administrator was around, I put on my sandals.
But some jobs you can't get away from public contact or avoid having the supervisor see what you're wearing. If the health risk of wearing shoes are greater than wearing sandals, do I have any way to fight back or can they just say "sorry, thems the rules"? Most of the jobs I'd be looking at are either state or federal which could be good (they want to accommodate diversity and disability) or bad (they have idiotic, inflexible rules written by people who who never leave a desk).
Sometimes, as in the nursing homes I work in, it’s for reasons of hygiene and health department rules. I think if you would get a note from your podiatrist stating that you’re on able to wear close toed shoes they would give you an allowance. You might want to actually go to a shoe store that sells orthopedic shoes though and see what they can do for you. There may be shoes with the flap your close over your toes so only the very edges of your toes come out but you’re still not having pressure put on your toes.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:35 AM
 
1,425 posts, read 799,536 times
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Originally Posted by tnff View Post
You do understand that most safety rules aren't dreamed up in someone's imagination, but because someone actually got hurt. Whether you could get an accommodation for your specific issue will depend a lot on what the accommodation is and what the risks of the specific job are.

I'm all for safety. I don't want to get hurt.


I think requirements to wear closed toe shoes when working outside are largely dreamed up. Yes, people have stubbed their toes and gotten splinters but the sky probably didn't fall. In my case, injury is unlikely if i wear open toes (none in 10 years so far) and 100% guaranteed if I wear closed toe. However the appeal of just not hiring me or getting rid of me during probation once they find out, would be high. That's why I want to know if I have any rights in this matter. I can imagine in some situations, like the industrial scenario I mentioned, I probably would not.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:38 AM
 
1,425 posts, read 799,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
Sometimes, as in the nursing homes I work in, it’s for reasons of hygiene and health department rules. I think if you would get a note from your podiatrist stating that you’re on able to wear close toed shoes they would give you an allowance. You might want to actually go to a shoe store that sells orthopedic shoes though and see what they can do for you. There may be shoes with the flap your close over your toes so only the very edges of your toes come out but you’re still not having pressure put on your toes.

I really don't want this to digress into a discussion of shoes because I have tried almost every conceivable kind and have been to multiple podiatrists. But this shoe type you mention is not one I'm familiar with. It probably would not work, but do you have a link?
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:59 AM
 
20,559 posts, read 16,625,375 times
Reputation: 38595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
I really don't want this to digress into a discussion of shoes because I have tried almost every conceivable kind and have been to multiple podiatrists. But this shoe type you mention is not one I'm familiar with. It probably would not work, but do you have a link?
No I don’t have a link. Google diabetic shoe stores in your area or orthopedist in your area. My mother is not diabetic but she has a lot of problems with her feet and these people are specialists. They give you very individualized attention they even came to her house to measure and look at her feet because she’s not able to get around very well. I would not get shoes this specialized online, but from a store that specializes in them and can evaluate your feet in person. Her shoes were expensive ($170 for one pair shoes and one pair slippers) but they were the only kind she can wear. But again, get a note from your doctor . Orthopedic shoes may be covered with the right diagnosis and a medical note will keep you from being fired in any case. Asking for a medical exception without anything to back it up does not sound very wise to me.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
4,557 posts, read 6,646,162 times
Reputation: 11292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
I'm all for safety. I don't want to get hurt.


I think requirements to wear closed toe shoes when working outside are largely dreamed up. Yes, people have stubbed their toes and gotten splinters but the sky probably didn't fall. In my case, injury is unlikely if i wear open toes (none in 10 years so far) and 100% guaranteed if I wear closed toe. However the appeal of just not hiring me or getting rid of me during probation once they find out, would be high. That's why I want to know if I have any rights in this matter. I can imagine in some situations, like the industrial scenario I mentioned, I probably would not.
I dont think you have any rights involved here unless you can get a doctor to write a prescription for open toed shoe.s

I haven't wrecked a car in over 10 years but I still have insurance in case I do.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,938 posts, read 8,403,847 times
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Employers have to make reasonable accommodations for employees with a disability. I doubt that ignoring common sense safety requirements, even if OP doesn't think there is a need for that requirement, would qualify as a reasonable accommodation.

Sometimes people are physically unable to do certain job tasks, and they need to look into other professions.
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:45 PM
 
690 posts, read 251,056 times
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More or less, I have problem finding the right shoes for me too. But I do think the company's shoe policy is right for the safety and health for their employees because you never know when accident happens. For an instance if you ware open toe shoes, you may stumble on a sharp object, you never know, then your toe(s) will get hurt and be bleeding. Any company does not want that to happen to their employees. And there are people with smelly feet. If those people wear open toe shoes or sandals, others have to smell that odour more.

And if the company let one person to get away with the policy, everyone else will follow.

Try to soak your feet in a basin of warm (quite warm) water with a half a cup of epsom salt and a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol, and then massage your feet with lotion and put your socks on to keep your feet moist for a while and not to make the bed sheet creasy, every evening for two weeks religiously. I found that helped for me. And keep soaking your feet whenever you feel like thereafter.
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:46 PM
 
71 posts, read 21,341 times
Reputation: 179
https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/stand...ons/2012-06-29


This may be of interest.
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