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Sexism con hits hair dresser salons

The Chamber of Commerce in Burgenland has been inundated with phone calls from angry hairdressers who have received written warnings that they will be fined for breaching equality laws over pricing for men and women.

The Agency for Equal Treatment based in Salzburg wrote to many hair salons explaining that they had received complaints from customers that the prices of haircuts for men and women were poles apart. The Chamber of Commerce is now investigating.

Legal expert from the Burgenland Chamber of Commerce Harald Mittermayer said that the letters had told the establishments to pay 250 euros for the "on-site research" necessary to collect information. But Mittermayer added that although it appeared to be a con no offence had actually been committed by writing the letters.

Mittermayer said: "The Chamber of Commerce is trying to get in contact with this Agency in order to gather more information. However, it should be remembered that this Agency for Equal Treatment is not known to us. There’s a person behind it who is not authorised to sue, who is not authorised to send warning letters and should certainly not be able to collect any money."

The Council of the Chamber of Commerce have told hairdressers to ignore the letters, saying: "For us this requirement of 250 euros is absurd, so do not pay. That’s our advice to hairdressers."

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