Mass. Bill Calls Gendered Pricing Discriminatory

Jason Hicks |

WORCESTER, Mass. — Massachusetts State Representative Vincent Pedone has proposed a bill that would stop drycleaners from charging more to clean women’s clothing than men’s, claiming the higher bill for women is discriminatory.
A woman in his district first brought the difference in price to his attention, complaining that her drycleaner had charged her $4.75 to clean a shirt when the same shirt for a man costs $1.75.
“I always thought it wasn’t fair,” says Pedone.
Eleanor Reneud, manager of Rossi’s, a drycleaner in Worcester, told New England Cable News (NECN) that the higher prices aren’t discriminatory; the standard machine to press clothes doesn’t fit most women’s shirts, so they have to be ironed by hand.
“It takes five minutes to do a woman’s shirt, 30 seconds to do a man’s. Big difference.”
Pedone says he doesn’t want to regulate drycleaners; he wants the bill to encourage consumers to ask why women are charged more and push for change.
The Consumer Protection Committee has yet to vote on whether to move the bill forward, so drycleaners won’t have to make pricing changes any time soon, according to WBZ-TV Boston.
If the proposed legislation does goes through, it wouldn’t necessarily translate to cheaper prices for women. Reneud says she would more likely raise the price of men’s shirts to even things out.
 

About the author

Jason Hicks

American Drycleaner

Jason Hicks was assistant editor for American Trade Magazines, which publishes American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News, for more than nine years, and web editor for three years.

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