WSJ -- "In New York City, 38 businesses have been hit this year for violating a
little-known provision that has many pulling their hair: gender-pricing
discrimination. The majority of violations so far this year—103—were
issued to salons and barbershops.
The city's Department of Consumer Affairs began stepping up
enforcement of the law last year, when it issued 580 gender-pricing
violations to businesses, more than double the 212 doled out the year
before. "We wanted to really send a strong message to businesses about this
kind of illegal pricing, so we did a very focused sweep over the course
of the year," said the department's commissioner, Jonathan Mintz. "That
sweep was largely targeted at salons and barbershops and laundry and dry
cleaning." The fines for first-time violations range from $50 to $200, while those for subsequent ones are $100 to $500.
"This is a very basic consumer-protection law and it is also a very basic civil-rights law," said Mr. Mintz. "I think there are completely legitimate reasons to charge different
prices for different services and that one should be specific for what
those reasons are," he added. "Reasons are not chromosomes."
While salons have received the most violations so far this year, in
2011 laundry and dry-cleaning businesses received 272 violations,
compared with 269 for salons. In 2010, on the other hand, dry cleaners
had only five violations, while "miscellaneous nonfood retail," which
includes salons, had 207 violations."