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Santa Monica sues nine dry cleaners under gender discrimination law

May 13, 2008 |  1:29 pm

Dry_cleaner2 The California law against setting prices based on gender is 13 years old, but some businesses in Santa Monica didn't get the memo. What nine dry cleaners and laundries did get this week was a lawsuit filed by the Santa Monica city attorney. They're allegedly not posting prices for their 15 most-requested services, or not handing out prices lists when customers ask, or not posting a large anti-discrimination sign.

Here's the timeline that led up to the filing, according to the city:

In February 2007 the City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit sent a courtesy letter to each of Santa Monica’s 48 cleaners and 91 hair salons advising them of the disclosure and posting requirements.

In April 2007 a follow-up inspection of 29 businesses chosen at random showed that none of the 29 were fully complying with the law.

Another letter and another round of inspections whittled the list of scofflaws down to the nine named in the lawsuit. Talk about being served.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times