Bill Would Make Women's/Men's Products Same Price [Times Union]

June 09, 2019

Originally published in Times Union on June 09, 2019.

Legislation that is making its way through the Capitol might make it a little less expensive to be a female in New York.

The measure would address the documented discrepancy between the price of men's and women's beauty products, like razors and shampoo, by prohibiting businesses from charging different costs based on the products being packaged and marketed by gender. The higher costs for items sold to women are referred to as a "pink tax" because stereotypical female colors are usually the only noticeable difference in the products.

The legislation, a version of which was first proposed in the 2017-2018 session, would apply to items of the same brand and functional components that have 90 percent of the same materials or ingredients. However, it would not restrict retailers from passing along costs that are set by manufacturer or distributor.

A business that violates the prohibition would face a penalty of up to $250, and up to $500 for future violations.

The bill, which would amend the state's general business law, is sponsored by Democrats Senator Shelley Mayer of Yonkers and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic of Queens.