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Position Papers

CCSNJ Opposition to S-2039 Gender-Based Price Discrimination

Labor Mandates

TO: Members of the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee

FROM: Hilary Chebra, Manager, Government Affairs, CCSNJ
RE:                           S-2039 (Gill/Greenstein/Pou ) 

DATE: March 10, 2021

The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) would like to share our opposition to S-2039 (Gill/Greenstein/Pou), which prohibits gender-based price discrimination. Although the intent legislation is commendable, gender-based price discrimination is an incredibly complex issue and as written, this bill would be burdensome for many small businesses to comply with.

Packaging and products, as well as product descriptions, are often set by the manufacturers or distributors and are priced accordingly. Price determinations are affected by numerous factors and retailors must charge based on these factors. Due to the ambiguity of the language, small businesses with valid reasons for their pricing decisions could get swept up in this bill. As a result, complying with S-2039 (Gill/Greenstein/Pou) would be onerous and could allow inadvertent offenders to be harshly penalized.

In addition, the bill states that its provisions would not be construed to prohibit price differences based upon labor, materials, tariffs, or any other gender-neutral reason. However, for hair salon services there are differences in pricing for men, woman and children’s haircuts, as the degree of labor and time involved is very different.

In fact, in New Jersey cosmetology schools different haircuts in the curriculum, as outlined in the regulations set forth by the New Jersey Cosmetology Board, specifically requires a different amount of labor. For example, in a 900 hour barbering course there are certain requirements that need to be taught - while men’s hair cutting and styling courses are 25 hours, women’s hair cutting and styling courses are only 15 hours.

This bill comes at a time when many small businesses, especially those in the aforementioned industries, were forced to close there doors last year and continue to recover from the pandemic. Hair salons, barbers and tailors were particularly hard hit. The costs associated with this bill would make their recovery even more difficult at a time when they need it the least.

For these reasons, we respectfully oppose S-2039 (Gill/Greenstein/Pou). 

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For any Government-related comments, questions or suggestions please contact:

Hilary Chebra 

Manager, Government Affairs, CCSNJ

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