Gender-Based Price Discrimination: California Seeks to Extend Law to Prohibit Discrimination in Pricing of Gender-Specific Goods
May 19, 2016
Authored by: Marcy Bergman and Flora Sarder
California is taking on gender price discrimination. California law already prevents businesses from gender-based price discrimination for services such as haircuts, alterations, and dry cleaning. A recently proposed bill (Senate Bill 899, Hueso) would extend that law to “retailers” and prohibit price discrimination in the sale of “goods.”
SB 899 recently passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where several positive amendments were made after comments from the California Retailers Association and others. One significant change from the original proposed legislation is elimination of a requirement that retailers post the prices of all goods so that consumers could determine if “men’s” and “women’s” products were priced the same. The bill also removed food products from its broad scope.
The bill as amended states: “No business establishment . . . may discriminate, with respect to the price charged for goods of a substantially similar or like kind, against a person