California has banned the “pink tax” on consumer goods, effectively prohibiting businesses from selling products for women at a higher price than men’s products.
The measure, AB 1287, which was signed into law last month by Gov. Gavin Newsom, states that a business “shall not charge a different price for any two goods that are substantially similar if those goods are priced differently based on the gender of the individuals for whom the goods are marketed and intended.”
The move comes following a push by critics of the “pink tax,” which is a widely-documented phenomenon where companies design two sets of the same product with marked-up prices for the products marketed towards women.
According to the bill, a “substantially similar” product refers to two or more products where “no substantial differences in materials are used in production.” Essentially, women’s razor blades that have no differences from men’s razor blades apart from being pink in color cannot be sold at a higher price than men’s razors – provided that both products are manufactured and sold by the same company.
The law makes some allowances for price disparities under specific circumstances, such as when a product costs more in materials or requires a different level of labor to manufacture, as well as “any other gender-neutral reason for charging a different price for those goods.”
In other words, soap marketed towards women that include different ingredients could cost more than men’s soap, provided that they use different materials or a different concentration of the same material.
Companies in violation of the law could face a fine of $10,000 for the first violation, and $1,000 for every following violation, totaling no more than $100,000, the Daily Wire reported.