Md. Salon Charges Men More Than Women for Manicures, Pedicures

Jimmy Bell was charged $2 more than a woman for a manicure.

ByABC News
September 23, 2010, 1:22 PM

Sept. 23, 2010 — -- A Maryland man who was charged $4 more than his female companion at a nail salon has filed a lawsuit claiming sex discrimination.

Jimmy Bell of Upper Marlboro said he was shocked when he noticed that the salon had charged him extra for the manicure and pedicure at Rich's Nail Salon in Landover, Md.

"I went to go pay and the person was going over the bill and I noticed that when he said the price for [my date's] manicure and pedicure, it was different than mine," Bell said of the Nov. 7, 2009, incident. "At that point I asked, 'Why do I have to pay more than her,' and he said, 'Because you're a man.

"They're saying that men have to pay more for the exact same service and it's wrong, it's illegal," Bell, 41, said.

An employee at the salon had no comment but confirmed that the cost of a women's pedicure is $20, compared with $22 for men.

The lawsuit, filed in Prince George's County Circuit Court Monday, claimed "gender-based price discrimination" against Rich's Salon.

A pamphlet from the salon provided to by Bell shows the prices differ between male and female clients.

A manicure is listed as $10 for a female and $11 for "gentlemen." A deluxe manicure, which includes exfoliation, is priced at $14 for women and $16 for men.

"You may say that's just $2 or $4, but if they have about 10 nail technicians and if they're doing even just five men a day, between manicures and pedicures they're making at least $70,000 extra [a year] on just men alone," Bell said. "That's wrong, that's discrimination."

A representative from the International Nail Tech Association, which has 70,000 members, said she had never heard of a man being charged more than a woman for nail services.

The lawsuit, filed by Bell's lawyer Edward Malone, claimed that the discrimination caused him "great shock and emotional distress."

"[The salon] acted with actual malice and with reckless disregard for the rights of others," read the suit, which also claims that the salon workers had an "evil motive, ill will, an intent to injure and an intent to defraud."