Banning the “Pink Tax” in California: What a New Bill Would Mean for You

California remains at the forefront when it comes to providing residents with more equitable treatment. One of the most current examples of this is Assembly Bill (AB) 1287, proposed legislation that would eliminate the “Pink Tax.”

The bill is intended to support women’s rights and prevent discrimination by retailers and manufacturers based on gender. Keep reading to learn what the pink tax is, what AB 1287 could mean for California women, and how to fight against discriminatory pricing.

What Is the Pink Tax?

The pink tax is a longstanding trend that’s been documented by the US Government Accountability Office. According to the Office, items marketed toward women are often priced as much as 7% higher than comparable neutral or male-oriented products. Furthermore, women often face higher prices in supposedly neutral products such as mortgage and loan rates.

For example, women’s deodorant, designed in pastels and with a “feminine” scent, is often priced higher than a deodorant that costs the same to produce but has a “masculine” design. This trend is also found in items like cleaning supplies, food, tools, and personal grooming supplies.

When all of these items marketed toward women are priced slightly higher, women wind up paying more for the same basic necessities compared to men. The difference is known as the pink tax. Retailers who participate in this kind of unequitable pricing actively reinforce a higher cost of living for women than men, making it harder for women to save money and improve their financial standing.

How California’s New Legislation Could End the Pink Tax

Pricing some items higher for gendered reasons harms everyone in different ways. That’s why California legislator Rebecca Bauer-Kahan has introduced AB 1287 to the California Assembly. Under AB 1287, businesses would not be able to price identical goods differently based on the gender to which they are marketed.

If a company was accused of pricing products differently according to gender, it would be responsible for proving that there is a “substantial” difference in the cost to produce that item. That would make it significantly harder for companies to justify different prices and lead to parity in gender-marketed items.

Fighting the Pink Tax Today

AB 1287 is still under consideration. However, there are still ways that you can fight the pink tax today. Under California law, businesses and employers cannot discriminate against people based on their gender. That means that for individually-priced products like cars, a company is obligated to sell their offerings for identical rates regardless of someone’s gender. If they charge you more because you’re a woman, you may have grounds for an anti-discrimination case.

If you’ve faced discriminatory pricing because of your gender, you can fight back. The first step is to reach out to the experienced attorneys at AM+F LLP to discuss your case. These experts can help you understand your situation and determine whether you have a case. If you have been discriminated against for your gender, AM+F LLP will help you hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions.