California department stores that sell children’s products such as toys and clothes would be prohibited from segregating them by gender, under a bill now being considered by lawmakers.

Assembly Bill 2826, by Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, would apply to all retail department stores with 500 or more employees.

The bill would do away with so-called “boys aisles” and “girls aisles,” by requiring that children’s products be offered in a single, gender neutral section, according to Low’s office.

If passed into law, the bill would apply to children’s clothing, toys and childcare items, “regardless of whether a particular item has traditionally been marketed for either girls or for boys,” according to the bill language.

Going into effect in 2023, the bill would make retail stores that fail to comply with its provisions punishable by a fine of $1,000.

A spokeswoman for Low’s office said that inspiration for the bill came from the 9-year-old daughter of one of Low’s staffers. The child told Low that she didn’t like how boy and girl sections were separated and that he should make a law against that.

Lawmakers also are considering a bill that would eliminate the “pink tax,” the discrepancy in pricing that sees women paying more for female-marketed products than men pay for male-marketed ones. That bill is sponsored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara.


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