Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill last Friday that will require toy stores to have “gender-neutral retail departments” in an effort to keep shoppers from being encouraged to purchase some toys for girls and others for boys.
The law says differences in products that are marketed to girls or boys are “unjustified” and it is “inappropriate” to imply they should be used by just one gender.
According to the law:
(a) A retail department store that offers childcare items or toys for sale shall 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.
(b) This section shall apply only to retail department stores that are physically located in California that have a total of 500 or more employees across all California retail department store locations. This section shall not apply to retail department stores that are physically located outside California.
(c) Beginning on January 1, 2024, a retail department store that fails to comply with this section is liable for a civil penalty, not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for a first violation or five hundred dollars ($500) for a subsequent violation, which may be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney General, or a district attorney or city attorney, in any court of competent jurisdiction. If the Attorney General, district attorney, or city attorney prevails in an action under this subdivision, the court shall award to the Attorney General, district attorney, or city attorney reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
As long as stores have a “gender-neutral” area, they are still allowed to have a boys’ and girls’ section.