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AB-1287 Price discrimination: gender.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 03/26/2021 04:00 AM
AB1287:v98#DOCUMENT

Revised  March 29, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1287


Introduced by Assembly Members Bauer-Kahan and Cristina Garcia Cristina Garcia, Boerner Horvath, Burke, Cervantes, Lorena Gonzalez, Levine, Low, Nazarian, and Robert Rivas
(Coauthors: Senators Hueso, Leyva, and Wiener)

February 19, 2021


An act to add Section 51.14 to the Civil Code, relating to civil rights.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1287, as amended, Bauer-Kahan. Price discrimination: gender.
Existing law prohibits a business establishment from discriminating against a person because of the person’s gender with respect to the price charged for services of similar or like kind. Existing law also requires specified business establishments to disclose in writing the pricing for each standard service, as defined, to display, in a specified manner, a sign stating that it is illegal to base pricing on gender and that a complete price list is available upon request, and to display, in a specified manner, a price list, and to provide the customer with a copy of the complete price list upon request.
This bill would prohibit a person, firm, partnership, company, corporation, or business from charging a different price for any 2 goods that are substantially similar, as defined, if those goods are priced differently based on the gender of the individuals for whom the goods are marketed and intended. The bill would authorize the Attorney General to seek an injunction to enjoin and restrain the continuance of those violations, and would authorize the court, in addition to granting the injunction, to impose a civil penalty not to exceed $250 for a first violation, and a civil penalty not to exceed $500 for each subsequent violation.

Existing law, the Gender Tax Repeal Act of 1995, prohibits a business establishment from discriminating against a person because of the person’s gender with respect to the price charged for services of similar or like kind.

This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would relate to ensuring that there is no gender-based pricing in California.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 51.14 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

51.14.
 (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) “Business” means any business acting within the State of California that sells goods to any individual or entity, including, but not limited to, retailers, suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors.
(2) “Goods” means any consumer products used, bought, or rendered primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.
(3) (A) “Substantially similar” means two goods that exhibit all of the following characteristics:
(i) No substantial differences in the materials used in production.
(ii) The intended use is similar.
(iii) The functional design and features are similar.
(iv) The brand is the same.
(B) A difference in coloring among any of the goods shall not be construed as a substantial difference for the purposes of this subdivision.
(b) No person, firm, partnership, company, corporation, or business shall 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.
(c) This section does not prohibit price differences in goods or services based specifically upon any of the following:
(1) The amount of time it took to manufacture those goods.
(2) The difficulty in manufacturing those goods.
(3) The cost incurred in manufacturing those goods.
(4) The labor used in manufacturing those goods.
(5) The materials used in manufacturing those goods.
(6) Any other gender-neutral reason for having increased the cost of those goods.
(d) (1)   Notwithstanding any other law, whenever there is a violation of this section, the Attorney General may seek an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of those violations.
(2) If a court or justice finds that the defendant has violated this section, an injunction may be issued by the court or justice enjoining or restraining any violation, without requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. The court may make direct restitution, if applicable. In connection with the proposed application for an injunction, the Attorney General is authorized to take proof and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil practice law and rules.
(3) Whenever the court or justice determines that a violation of this section has occurred, the court may impose a civil penalty not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for a first violation, and a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) for each subsequent violation. For the purposes of this section, all identical items differently priced on the basis of gender shall be considered a single violation.

SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would relate to ensuring that there is no gender-based pricing in California.

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REVISIONS:
Heading—Lines 1 and 2.
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