|Cutting through the Red Tape|
|Tuesday, May 08 2012|
A New York City barber has been fined for charging a different price to cut male hair versus female hair.
Leon Kogut, the owner of Leon's Fantasy Cut in Brooklyn, expressed surprise by a city inspector’s accusation that Kogut is violating the city's discrimination policy because he charges women three dollars more for a haircut. Kogut defended his price difference ($16 for a woman, $13 for a man), by pointing out the differences in services.
“A woman’s haircut requires a lot of skill. You have to style the hair, blow dry, use the mousse, the hairspray. It could take hours to get her hair cut," Kogut said. "If you go to a restaurant and order a hamburger, you don’t expect to get the steak for that money. Are you discriminating against the cow? Same cow, same meat – but different part of the meat. Of course there’s going to be a different price.”
The inspector didn't buy Kogut's rationale and slapped the barber with three violations totaling $650 in fines. Additionally, the inspector took issue with Kogut's 93 year-old cash register because it does not issue receipts. Kogut received another fine for that violation. The Department of Consumer Affairs told the New York Daily News that city law stipulates all businesses must include price information on its receipts.
“Nobody ever asks for receipts in a barber shop. I'm here 21 years in this shop and nobody asks for a receipt," the former Soviet Union resident said. “I ran away from Communism. The system in New York City reminds me of Communism. The government can do anything to you.”