Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.
Big surprise here — the state Assembly is considering a so-called “job killer” bill that would make it even easier for people to sue and receive damages from business owners.
AB 1576 would amend the Gender Tax Repeal Act of 1998, making it easier for consumers to sue a business if they believe there is a price difference for substantially similar goods due to the gender of the intended user.
“AB 1576 would create a situation where a consumer could go to a separate retailer or even the same retailer daily and purchase multiple items the consumer believes are substantially similar, yet priced differently — with even a penny difference in price — and request the business to settle with the consumer for a minimum of $4,000 or face costly litigation,” said California Chamber of Commerce Senior Policy Advocate Jennifer Barrera. “While the business may very well be able to prove the price difference was based upon a gender-neutral reason, the cost of litigation to prove that defense is significant.”
This is the kind of rabbit hole that California business owners increasingly find themselves in — having to justify the most minute business decisions to “aggrieved” parties, with their livelihoods on the line.
While the bill was amended to provide a limited list of “gender-neutral” reasons a good may be priced differently, proof of those reasons only comes up after litigation has already been filed and attorneys start billing.
“This is the exact type of frivolous litigation that businesses across California are struggling with for alleged ADA violations with regard to construction disability access requirements, as it is the exact same section of the Civil Code that covers both issues. California businesses do not need exposure to another layer of such extortionist litigation as AB 1576 will create,” according to the CalChamber.
For a current list of the CalChamber’s “job killer” bills, visit cajobkillers.com/priorities