Garcia’s Legislation to Safeguard Small Businesses Catches Momentum

AB 1615, Small Business Gender Discrimination Compliance Act

(SACRAMENTO, CA)— Today, the Assembly Judiciary Committee approved Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s (D-Coachella) Small Business Gender Discrimination Act.  AB 1615 works to protect our small business community from unwarranted discrimination lawsuits and allow them the opportunity rectify any violations.

“The goal of this act is to uphold the California’s Gender Tax Repeal Act of 1995 while safeguarding our small businesses from frivolous lawsuits,” stated Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.

There has been an increased trend of small businesses falling prey to gender discrimination lawsuit schemes. Current law prohibits businesses from determining cost of goods and services based on gender.  This measure will address cases where there is both a logical and legitimate reason behind difference in cost. (e.g. haircuts; a female’s hair cut may be more strenuous than a males)

“In my district, there have been numerous cases of lawyers targeting vulnerable small business owners. Often small, immigrant owned businesses that settle, unable to afford court costs,” explained Assemblymember Garcia. As the former Chair of Jobs Economic Development and the Economy Committee, I  want to ensure we assist our small businesses and educate them on their legal obligations, rights to charge different prices for different services and their ability to correct violation notices.”

AB 1615 will next be heard in Assembly Appropriations.

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) serves as the chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife.  He represents the 56th district, which comprises the cities and communities of Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland.