New Bill Threatens to Eliminate Jobs for Hair Stylists in Washington State

Comments

1

Something similar passed in California this year and it's been a total shitshow for friends that own and work in salons.

4

@2 Or maybe they were talking with George Missad, President and CEO of Gene Juarez who is among the business owners pushing for the bill?

The fact that Democrats too are subject to the blandishments of corporate interests is hardly news. When they do it, its a bit of a betrayal. When Republicans do it, things are working as designed. If these independent stylists had a union, they could have representation in Olympia to push back. But they don't, so they are going to get screwed.

5

@3 wow quite a reach!

6

Sorry Justin Dahlquist, no independence for you. Get ready to pay union dues.

7

It's being done because corporate interests want it done; it's as simple as that.

8

Why do you say well intentioned? I have had my hair done for the last 20 years at salons that operate this way. All of the women have left legacy salons like Gene Juarez, Seven, etc. and want to start out on their own, set their own hours, set their own pay, live life for themselves, buy their own insurance and be independent. This is outrageous, anti-woman, anti-independent. It is a perfect solution solution for women who are hairstylists that are raising children. They can set their own hours instead of being slaves to the legacy salons that require them to be there from 8 AM to 6 PM. Instead of solving real world problems the legislature takes up stupid crap like this. It is disgusting.

9

If this business model is illegal, shouldn't Uber , Lyft, etc. also be?

10

On the news they announced that the author of the bill is removing the language over the booth rental, etc.

11

@9: Lots of complaints from independent hair stylists. I don't recall seeing many from Uber and Lyft independents. In fact, most argued in favor of becoming employees.

I don't hold out hope for the stylists. Professionals like engineers lose these battles more often than not. It comes down to tax revenue. There is a lot of stuff that you can deduct as your own business that you can't as an employee. And the tax man isn't happy about this situation.

12

Typical fucking pro-government leftists: Don't regulate you. Don't regulate me. Regulate that fellow behind the tree.

13

I followed the last link about “two more” bills that target independent contractors and it was gobbledygook. Hope you’ll do some follow-up. Other than crappy healthcare, I like being self-employed. Please keep reporting on this!!

14

So, I can rent a desk at one of many shared work space locations all over Seattle that are catering to start-ups. There, I run my business as an independent contractor or even as an LLC or Corp. In shared space, I can get dedicated mailing address, WiFi access, printers, copiers, conf rooms, receptionist, free food and coffee and other amenities - all the tools except my laptop. My clients can come by at anytime I have office hours in these shared spaces. And, I don’t get health insurance of course. But, if my “start-up” or my business is being a stylist, I can’t go to a shared working space that caters to my industry? I am required to be a slave to a corporate master? Sentenced to a cube and a boss, so I can access their insurance?

So, Gene Juarez is just another evil corporation with lobbying power who caterers to the power brokers in the 1%? Yes, the government should require every hard working laborer to have a manager. Not!

There is not any rational basis for the disparate treatment beteeen shared work spaces for tech entrepreneurs and stylists. Any stylists want to open up a chair in a WeWork? I am sure they would love to have you offer salon services to the army of tech workers that are used to having everything delivered to them.

15

Major corps can't pay or treat hairstylists like decent human beings, but they can lobby a couple of dinosaur politicians into thinking they are doing the right thing.

Why were barbers not included? Because corps like Regis don't hire them.

Why didn't they include nail techs and other booth rentals? Because there are no major corperations for those parts of the industry.

Just because the intent may not be sexiest, doesn't mean the outcome won't hurt women business owners.

16

"New Bill Threatens to Eliminate Jobs for Hair Stylists in Washington State."

I'm not following this. Are stylists simply going to throw up their hands and never work again if booth rentals are prohibited? Are folks going to stop getting their hair colored if this bill passes? Those don't really seem like realistic outcomes, but perhaps there is some better reporting out there that addresses those issues.

17

@16 "Are stylists simply going to throw up their hands and never work again if booth rentals are prohibited?" - I suspect: Yes, at least for some.

Those who treasure their independence might go into another line of work, seek public assistance to continue to take care of their children on their own schedule, or put a chair and sink in their garage as a way to cling to their craft. I agree with those who are opposed to this type of short-sighted leglslation.

19

What is it with this stupid victimhood narrative again? Men stylists are a minority. I am one. So even if men are a minority in the industry, women are still victims of it? Get outta here! It's not about women stylists or men stylists. It is about ALL stylists. Stop with the fucking "anti-woman" horseshit narrative. Because stylist industry is a good, ol', girls' club if you really want to go open that can of worms. And I don't think REAL strong, independent women would not appreciate you treating them like helpless victims.

20

This was an ill-advised submission on the part of Senator Keiser, but I also understand where she's coming from, as there is rampant abuse of how employees are mis-classified as "independent contractors" in many industries. However, the hairstyling industry tends to not be one of them (full disclosure, my wife is a stylist/barber and rents a chair at a local salon). If anyone fits the intended meaning of an IC, it's these people (note to @8: many stylists are male): they set their own schedules, generally set their own prices, they direct their own work, and aside from receiving monthly rent and maybe some shared product costs, the salon owner has literally no oversight or control as to how or when they work.

That said, it's no wonder large chain salons such as Gene Juarez would back this bill, since it would force more stylists to into becoming hired employees, and in turn drive their customers to the corporate salons, which, as has been stated previously, is exactly why many of them got OUT of that end of the business in the first place.

@16:

I would expect many would go "underground" and set up shop in their own homes - we're certainly considering that if the language in this bill remains as-is.

21

@20 I think how much independence someone renting a chair actually has varies quite a lot. My haircutter person used to work at a place where she was "renting the chair" but in practice had no control over prices, hours, etc. The only real difference (other than taxes, worker's comp, etc) between her and an employee is she didn't get paid if nobody came in. I'd be in favor of eliminating that particular kind of arrangement and forcing those kinds of salons to make their stylists full employees. (See also the similar labor arrangements at most strip clubs and some auto mechanic shops.)

22

@21:

If she doesn't have at least nominal control over her hours then yeah, it's questionable whether she would meet the criteria for being an IC. And FWIW many "employees" at salons work on a commission basis, although IIRC from when my wife worked for a local men's grooming chain, they had to pay her at least WA minimum wage.

23

@16 Most Salon owners can't afford to hire the number of hairdressers that rent chairs in their salons.

I don't know how this will shake out in the long run, but it's going to be a very painful transition.

25

The law as it exists already prohibits this type of subcontracting. You can not classify someone as a subcontractor if they are performing the core function of the business.
http://www.lni.wa.gov/IPUB/101-063-000.pdf As I read it this law already exists it is just not being enforced.
There are a few inaccuracies in this article.
I own a commission based salon. Our stylist start at 50% commission and work up to 62% commission as they build their clientele. We have staff making $80K- 100K a year. It is untrue that you cannot afford to have the stylists as employees, I have 30, many who are very part time. These booth rental salon owners are just choosing not to because they don't want to pay unemployment, workmen compensation or guarantee a minimum wage. It costs a lot to have someone go through an apprenticeship program and then build up a clientele. My business provides the cost of education, guaranteed hourly wage along with the Seattle's Paid Time Off and family leave. The PTO and family leave is not being discussed as a factor here but it should be as booth rental salon owners are not paying into that system. I also dispute that commission based salons do not allow for freedom. I have many employees at my salon that work minimal schedules that allow for child care or college classes. Many take extended vacations for travel and that flexibility is a main attraction to working in this industry.
This bill is not perfect and needs work, it makes no sense to exclude barbers, but something does need to happen to create more fairness and worker protections.

26

Some day when I retire I'm going to stop paying to have my gray hair colored and I'm going to cut it myself with manicure scissors. Paying $100 for a hair cut makes my heart bleed.

27

Gene Juarez is a giant corporate conglomerate . Though not legally registered on the bill . .., Instead they are the ones truly beneath making handshakes behind doors and are truly funding this bill .
When gene Juarez himself retired , the company merged with evergreen pacific partners , a corporate machine that started to fire people who worked from the start .Nancy had worked for the company since she was 15 when gene Juarez was still “ grass roots “ was a month away from retiring when she suddenly got “ laid off “ a month before retirement after EPP took over . She is only one example . There has been a lot of hush hush with this company .i have heard this and seen this first hand .

. Gene Juarez had changed many of the perks for the alumni students at the school and their education system has never provided an education model for anyone who wants to be a booth renter or salon owner . They want you to specialize to only one skill , that is hair cutting or coloring . As a stylist I provide All the services beneath my license , hair , nails and esthetics .

The stranger wrote According to George, Scott Missad, the President and CEO of Gene Juarez, is among the business owners pushing for the bill. But that is false. Missad told The Stranger that he has never spoken to Senator Keiser, that he only spoke to her aid.

"She said the senator was going to be introducing a bill and what would be my position on that," Missad said. "My position on that remains the same: that myself and this company agrees that everybody in the industry should be held to the same standard."

The fact that this man who has ZERO knowledge about being a cosmetologist nor a small business one said that everyone should be held to the SAME standard .

This is horrifying . Cosmetologists are first off , ... artists who work already in an abstract field . Everyone has their own life and way to live . To say that we should all be on some same level is like communism .

Should we all have the same colors that gene Juarez uses too and have the long layered French teqnique of style ???? Absolutely NOT !!!!
Maybe this bill would work better in a place like North Korea where women are allowed to only have 3 types of hair styles .

Gene Juarez is a Mexican immigrant from the tri cities with fruit picking parents . When he started , he wore some flannel and had a Afro along with tanned skin . Today he looks unrecognizable wearing a crisp suit with very fair skin looking like a politician living in broadmoor .
( I can’t speak as much in detail about Regis . But I’ve heard horror stories from many many employees as well . I’ve seen first hand with my own eyes Rodger mistreat his employees at the Bellevue location in public and heard many awful awful chauvinist stories upon Rodgers ex employees about very sexist and demeaning acts he’s done . )

Gene Juarez had his freedom and worked his way up to success and I feel and believe that every single cosmetologist should be able to have freedom and choice as well .

If booth rentals are not allowed in cosmetology , this is the first step to eliminate all rentals for small businesses for anything else as a whole . This bill and back up bills —- It is totally unethical and totally wrong and should be condemned .

For anyone or anyone’s to even want to pass or start such a bill is completely unconstitutional .

Equal rights are not special rights and every cosmetologists should be able to operate as an independent artist !

Gene Juarez and EPP sales on services must’ve plummeted the last 5 years from the rise of social media and independent artists advertising theirselves . They have no other choice then to put all their money together to pass such a ironic blanket rule for all . When they should probably hire someone new to re write a better business plan .

If all the independent contractors spoke with the senator and all put together a huge sum of $$$ and did a few hand shakes , then we surely would put gene Juarez out of business completely but we don’t have to and gene Juarez / EPP are threatened by us and want to divide us . sadly our government along with all of them are fueled by $$$ and whoever bids the highest gets what they choose . As Pink Floyd says , United we stand and divided we fall .

All of us independent contractors are reuniting of this and gene Juarez / EPP is adding to their big bad reputation in the community . The funny thing is , as an independent artist myself , I actually go to gene Juarez myself to get my haircut because my girlfriend has been doing my hair there for 20 years and I want to support her . Now sadly , I will have to boycott them and my friend will lose my business .

I know gene Juarez / EPP are reading this now because they probably hired someone just to read this and the true fact is , no matter what happens .., . You will not win in the end .., the right will always outweigh the wrong ! The fact that they are loosing business is their own issues and no one else’s . Cosmetologists are strong minded free thinking people and your corporate giant will not stop us !

I wish I could be at the public comment session for I have passionate views but as I got this news , I’m on the opposite side of the world . Still though , I’m
On the other end of the earth united with my fellow cosmetologists .

28

@3 because you need a legal business license and cosmetology license that you pay taxes for . You get the cosmetology license by attending school and going to the state to do your testing .
Then like any other license , you get it in the mail .
Like anyone , you just ask to see the license . And it’s illegal if it’s not posted .
You seem like a lobbyist who is uneducated about being a cosmetologist .

29

@3 do you think gene Juarez’s parents came here as legal immigrants ? All humans should have rights as a human.

30

@25 why don’t you advertise your salon then ??

31

The whole premise is bizarre. Overhead like property taxes are passed on to tenants.