California retail stores with more than 500 employees will be fined if they do not designate a gender-neutral section for toys.
The new law aims to eliminate the separation of toys traditionally marketed towards boys or girls.
The backstory: Two years ago California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1084 into law, also called Gender neutral retail departments.
- The law will take effect at the start of next year, just a few weeks away.
The big picture: Stores must display a “reasonable selection” of toys regardless of their gender-specific marketing.
- Violations of the law can result in fines, starting at $250 for the first offense and increasing to $500 for subsequent infractions.
- The legislation argues that keeping traditionally gendered toys separate makes it difficult for consumers to compare products and implies that their use by one gender is inappropriate.
- The sponsor of the bill, Asm. Evan Low (D–Sunnyvale) argued in 2021 that segregating toys by gender is outdated and reinforces harmful stereotypes.