California's non-compliant retailers face a $500 fine for gendered toys, according to this report.
In other words, California businesses that refuse to have gender-neutral toys for children will be fined up to $500!
Starting from January 1, 2024, retail department stores in California with 500 or more employees that sell childcare items or toys will be required to maintain a gender-neutral section or area, to be labeled at the discretion of the retailer, in which a reasonable selection of the items and toys for children that it sells shall be displayed, regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys.
Yes, stores who fail to meet the requirements by Jan. 1, 2024 face a $250 fine for their first offense, and $500 for subsequent violations.
This new legislation was introduced by lawmakers Cristina Garcia and Evan Low, who said he was inspired to write the bill by the 10-year-old daughter of one of his staffers. The girl asked her mom why certain items in a store were “off limits” to her because she was a girl.
“We need to stop stigmatizing what’s acceptable for certain genders and just let kids be kids,” Low told AP. “My hope is this bill encourages more businesses across California and the U.S. to avoid reinforcing harmful and outdated stereotypes.”
Again, this new California law mandates stores to have a gender-neutral section, but retailers can continue to offer other toys and child care goods that are traditionally marketed specifically toward girls or boys.
Danish toy-making giant Lego has already pledged to remove gender bias from its toys after research found girls were being held back by gender stereotypes.
This new law is a step towards creating a more inclusive and accepting society for children. It is hoped that this legislation will encourage more businesses across California and the U.S. to avoid reinforcing harmful and outdated stereotypes.
What do you think of this new California law? Do you believe this law will help retailers in California or not? Leave a comment and let the community know your thoughts, especially if you own a business and/or you are a resident of California.