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NYC Hair Businesses Fined For Sex Discrimination
Businesses commonly charge women more than men to get their hair cut, and men more than women to get their backs waxed. "It's like day and night," says one hair spa manager. "It takes longer for men. It's more labor, more product."
According to New York City's Department of Consumer Affairs, this is gender-pricing discrimination, and it must be stopped. Last year, the department alleged 580 such violations of what Commissioner Jonathan Mintz called "a very basic civil rights law." Almost none, Mintz says, came out of consumer complaints; the department has been conducting sweeps. Mintz acknowledges "there are completely legitimate reasons to charge different prices for different services," but these must be specified. "Reasons are not chromosomes." Perhaps he envisions that people getting their backs waxed will first have their back hairs counted, so that they can be charged on that basis.
Fines can reach $500. But what's the alternative? "If I raise my prices," said one business owner, "I'll lose all my male customers."
Here's the story, from the Wall Street Journal.