Wednesday, May 2, 2012

NYC: Barbers Can’t Charge Women More Than Men

A New York City barber was accused of violating the city’s discrimination policy because he charged women three dollars more for a hair cut than men.

“I’m here for 21 years and I’ve never heard of such a thing,” said Leon Kogut, the owner of Leon’s Fantasy Cut in Brooklyn. “The guy tells me this is discrimination of a woman.”

Kogut, who is originally from the former Soviet Union, told Fox News he ran afoul of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. An inspector slapped the barber with three violations totaling $650 in fines.

“I feel upset,” he said. “We are struggling to survive. It’s a lot – a lot of money.”

Kogut said the inspector took issue with the fact that he charged $13 for a man’s haircut and $16 for a woman’s.

“A woman’s haircut requires a lot of skill,” Kogut said. “You have to style the hair, blow dry, use the mousse, the hairspray. It could take hours to get her hair cut.”

On the other hand, he said, it only takes a few minutes to cut a guy’s hair.

“It’s a different kind of hair cut,” he said.

Kogut tried to reason with the city inspector.

“If you go to a restaurant and order a hamburger, you don’t expect to get the steak for that money,” he said. “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 was not swayed and told Kogut that to be in compliance of the law – he could only charge different prices for “long hair” and “short hair.”

“I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it. It’s my mistake,’” he said. “But I never know this – nobody ever told me this.”

But that wasn’t the end of Kogut’s problems. It turns out the city also took issue with his nearly 100-year-old cash register.

Why didn’t the cash register print receipts, the inspector demanded to know.

“I told him, ‘the cash register is three times older than you, sir,’” Kogut said. “The cash register is 93 years old.”

That resulted in another fine for the 64-year-old barber.

“Nobody ever asks for receipts in a barber shop,” he said. “I’m here 21 years in this shop and nobody asks for receipt.”

The Dept. of Consumer Affairs told the New York Daily News that city law stipulates all businesses must include price information on its receipts.

But Public Advocate Bill de Blasio told the newspaper this is more about petty fines.

“We cannot hold small businesses hostage to the city’s budget,” he told the Daily News. “It’s time to stop treating small businesses like an ATM and take an honest look at what the fines are really costing the city.”

Kogut told Fox News he works 12 hours a day, six days a week and it’s all he can do to pay the bills.

“The hit us like that – for what? We don’t deserve this. We are good citizens here.”

He said that New York City is beginning to remind him of the Old Country.

“I ran away from Communism,” he said. “The system in New York City reminds me of Communism. The government can do anything to you.”

I know this isn't much of a political post but I had to share it. I would be thrilled if my hairdresser cut my hair for $16 dollars, I normally pay $30, which I believe is still cheap, compared to other salons.  I have very thick, coarse long hair and it does take her at least an hour and 1/2 to do my hair. We are talking shampoo/conditioner, blow dry, hair products, and then flat ironing. God bless, she is tired after finishing up with me.

And what is a woman doing in a barber shop in the first place? Most barber shops are for men, aren't they?  Let me know if I am wrong, because I honestly believe that. 

Women go to hairdressers and salons and men go to barber shops.  In fact, there is a place in our town called, "Sports Clips" and it is set up only for men, has a tv station on the sports channel, and sports memorabilia all over the place and only men products for the hair.

There are tons of salons all over this town and I can imagine NYC has 100's, right?  So why is this woman complaining????  Get to a salon and shut up.

Men's haircuts take less than 15 minutes, women, maybe 30.  And like the barber mentioned, women normally use more hair products which cost more money. The man is only charging $3 more!  Good grief!


Jersey McJones said...

All this could be averted by simply changing the name of the haircuts. Either you get a "style," or just a "cut."

That's the way barbers and stylists have done it for years. No big deal.


dmarks said...

Or the women can get bad cheap haircuts and just wear hats a lot more. A thought inspired by Jersey's avatar.

Silverfiddle said...

New York State, like California, is losing more people that it attracts.

NY City gained slightly, but it's all immigrants, and the pattern is once business-minded immigrants wake up to what's going on, they move out.

So the city looks attractive from across the sea, but it turns into a nightmare for many, such as this Russian barber.

Hey Jersey, ever heard of the concept of economic freedom? Business charge what they want, provide the services they want, and the customer votes with her dollars. What a concept.

Jersey McJones said...

Yeah, I don't like this either, Silver, so you're preaching to the choir here. I'm just saying that there was a simple way of avoiding it.


Lisa said...

If you charge them the same then the men would be complaining that their hair cuts should be less because it takes less time and less product.

left is right said...

This is a hate crime and he should be charged civil rights violations. He needs to charge based on whether they identify as a female in a male body or the other way around. It’s up to the individual to determine whether they are male or female, not nature.

Lisa said...

Oh good Lord look what the cat dragged in

Leticia said...

Jersey, I suppose, but some people would confuse even those simple terms. Women should stick with Salons and be done with it. Most of us know that we are going to pay more, but usually get the styles and cuts we want with a bit of pampering on the side. It has taken me years to find someone that knows how to cut my hair. Apparently, I have difficult hair. :)

dmarks, true. And some women do if they wind up with bad hair cuts, or pony tails.

Silver, that poor Russian barber is being harassed plain and simple. I hate that he is probably not going to be able to recover financially.

Lisa, that's exactly what would happen. Yeah, I know, and this was just about hair cuts.

Left, that's not the subject here. And I disagree. Women are women and men are men, how they dress or perceive themselves to be is an entirely separate topic. A person cannot alter their DNA or genetics.

dmarks said...

Jersey: That seemed like a slam, didn't it? Sorry... it was about you hat, not your perceived haircut which I can see!

christian soldier said...

the trend for us in the US reminds my friend-- who lived under communism - and succeeded in coming to this country -of the govt oversight she saw in her 'old country' and believes she sees the same signs as she saw during the overthrow of her country of birth- I told her that she was seeing clearly ---she just shook her head-in sadness..

Jersey McJones said...

Gals and guys, I'm not arguing the city's position here, I'm in fact proving your argument. I guess it comes down to this: We navigate law while we negotiate the tides, and so we circumnavigate.

dmarks, what the fuck are you talking about bro? I happen to have a nice head a hair mf - some call it "good." Never liked that term. How about you?

WTF man. Lets see a pic of you mf.

;) And this was all in fun quick typing terms, okay?


dmarks said...

I wish I had a hat as good as yours.

Right Truth said...

There is a difference in a "cut", "trim", and "style". A woman gets a style for $16.00, that sounds like a deal to me.

On a personal note, I've seen my hairdresser spend as much time on the male customers as she does on the female customers, I'm not sure if she charges the same or not. (I go once a month to get the grey colored, a trim, blow dry and product for $50 dollars). I'm happy with the service and the price.

Right Truth

Lone Ranger said...

Everyone needs to go to my stylist -- Mr. Flowbee.

Leticia said...

Carol, it really does look that way.

Jersey and dmarks, I only have two hats, and one of the my husband hates, but I like it, so I wear it. Granted they are only good for the winter, but who cares!! Most men wear hats. I know on some bad hair days, a hat would be great.

Debbie, the only time I paid $16 dollars was for a dry cut and it was a terrible, terrible, terrible job!! My hairdresser has worked on it for almost 2 years to correct that crap. I will not go cheap when it comes to my hair. When my boys get hair cuts, we pay $12 for each, but they get the cuts they want and that's all that matter, however, I honestly hated my oldest son's faux hawk. I think that's the name.

LR, I don't think I could afford the gas! I'll stick with Emily. She knows my hair and knows how to style it. And what I love best about her, if I show her a style I want she will be honest and tell, your hair won't do that. Nice.

Right Wing Theocrat said...

Remember back a while ago when NYC was celebrating communism. Now we see the consequences of that sort of thinking.

Poor fellow, hopefully the bureaucratic scum can be shamed back into their places.

Leticia said...

MK, it's awful. It's a small business and the poor man escaped communism just find it again here in the states. Damn.

Mens Hairdresser Melbourne said...

Great post.

nutrendmedia said...

Great Stuff!! I am just wondering by seeing the huge difference after following this article. I do appreciate your post. Thanks a ton.

Hairdresser Port Melbourne