CALIFORNIA, USA — A retail law known as the “Pink Tax” law brings to light gender-based pricing for goods in California, which the author of the bill argues will support women’s economic health and hold companies accountable by eliminating the "Pink Tax" in California once and for all."
AB-1287 Gender-base price discrimination
AB-1287 (2021-22) This bill will eliminate what the author calls the “Pink Tax” and ensure women achieve equality by prohibiting businesses from assigning different prices for identical products based on who they are marketed to.
Assembly member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, who authored the bill, said “this type of arbitrary gendered pricing has no place in California. It’s past time to ensure price equality.” Gov. Newsom signed the bill on Sept. 27 and went into effect Jan. 1, 2023.
"This has been a fight that has gone for years and years and years," said Melissa Berton, executive director of The Pad Project, which advocates for gender equity.
Over those years, studies show that women in California pay -- on average -- $2,381 more every year for the same goods and services as their male counterparts, adding up to about $188,000 over the course of a lifetime.
"Male or female, you've probably gone through your local market and seen what some may see as pretty pink packaging, but in fact the actual razor or the soap or the lotion is not substantively different," Berton added.
What is often different, though, is the price. One government study found personal care products targeted to women were on average 13% more expensive than similar men's products.
"We're still getting paid less and to be charged more for the products we use every day?," demanded Lauren Pope, who lives in San Diego.
She and her roommate Ashleigh Hammar said the 'pink tax' is fundamentally unfair.
"That's why I use men's razors, men's deodorant and any 'men' product I can get is in my bathroom," Hammar told CBS 8.
They are both applauding California's move to outlaw this upcharge on products marketed to women, only the second state to do so, after New York.
"We've been fighting for year for this equality," Bauer-Kahan said in an interview with CBS 8. "It's a really exciting day that we have it here in California."
"What it's designed to do is ensure that goods that are marketed to men and women are sold for the same price, so the women aren't paying more for goods that are marketed to us," she added.
While stores have some time to get into compliance, those who continue to violate this new law could face fines ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 per incident.
"The bill explicitly exempts products that cost more to manufacture or that stores are paying more for, so the stores will not be on the hook if they are paying more for a product," Bauer-Kahan clarified.
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