Beauty Industry Group Sues Over Shop Closings

Newsom announced last week that salons could not reopen yet after revealing that the first case of known community-to-community transmission of the coronavirus in the state, in February, had been traced to a nail salon. He did not give further details about the salon or the patient.

In the lawsuit, the Professional Beauty Federation of California and others say that the order to remain closed deprives salon workers of their constitutional rights and that the classifications of “essential” vs. “nonessential” businesses are arbitrary, among other complaints.

Newsom announced last week that salons could not reopen yet after revealing that the first case of known community-to-community transmission of the coronavirus in the state, in February, had been traced to a nail salon. He did not give further details about the salon or the patient.

The revelation came in response to a reporter’s question about why salons were put in phase 3 of reopening, after parks and retail stores were allowed to reopen Friday, May 8. “This whole thing started in the state of California — the first community spread — at a nail salon,” Newson said at a news briefing. “I’m very worried about that.  Phase 3, when the salons are due to open, “may not even be more than a month away,” he said.  The February transmission occurred, he said, even though salon workers were already practicing protective measures such as wearing masks and gloves.  Before opening the salons and beauty colleges back up, he said, “We just want to make sure we have a protocol in place to secure the safety of customers, the safety of employees, and allow the business to thrive in a way that is sustainable.”

California’s shutdown that went into effect in mid-March affects barbers, aestheticians, electrologists, hair stylists, cosmetologists, and manicurists, said Fred Jones, counsel for the Professional Beauty Federation of California and a lobbyist.

He says that health and safety instruction make up a large part of the salon workers’ training.

In California, 621,742 people hold licenses from the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s laws and regulations that cover people providing salon services already require a number of health and safety measures, such as disinfecting tools and foot spas, single use of towels and robes, and personal cleanliness for workers providing services. Cheri Gyuro, a spokesperson for the California Department of Consumer Affairs, says the board is working on guidelines for COVID-19 that will be made public when they are complete.

 

Missouri Great Clips Stylists Worked While Infected With Coronavirus!

Great Clips salons in Springfield, Missouri, have temporarily closed because of “repeated threats” that came after two stylists worked while infected with the corona-virus, potentially exposing more than a hundred customers, the company and police said.

Great Clips Inc. said in a statement that salons in the Springfield area were closed because of threats it received Wednesday, but it did not disclose the nature of the threats. On Saturday, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced that a second stylist at a single location tested positive and that 140 customers had potentially been exposed.

“To protect the safety of everyone, the local franchisees made the decision to temporarily close salons in the Springfield area. They are working closely with law enforcement officials as the officials conduct a thorough investigation of these threats,” Great Clips Inc. said in a statement.

So far, the second stylist is the only person who has tested positive in connection with the case. The health department said Thursday that 42 clients have since tested negative.  An email to a Springfield police spokesperson about the nature of the threats was not immediately returned Thursday night.

But Springfield police spokeswoman Jasmine Bailey told The Associated Press that the first threat came from a Facebook message to an employee on Saturday. The second threat was phoned to a salon Wednesday.  Bailey said that in both cases, the messages “were threatening to shut the place down” because the stylists potentially exposed people to the virus.

The first stylist’s positive result was announced by health officials Friday, and they said the stylist worked for eight days while experiencing symptoms.  The positive test for the second stylist, at the same location, was announced by the health department Saturday.  Both stylists and the customers were wearing masks, the health department has said.

Missouri hair salons and barbershops have been allowed to reopen after they and other nonessential businesses were ordered closed under a statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the corona-virus. It was not clear when the Springfield area Great Clips salons may reopen.

Independent workers: When do we get unemployment?

Hair dressers, gig drivers, landscapers, freelancers and other independent contractors who work for themselves normally don’t qualify for unemployment benefits.  But these aren’t normal times.

The $2 trillion government stimulus program is supposed to finally give unemployment benefits for millions of self-employed people who do not pay into the unemployment compensation system as full-time employees do.  However, many of them are growing more nervous by the day as they wonder when they will see the money.  Laura Grant, like many people on furlough right now, is desperately trying to reach her state’s unemployment hotline to learn if she now qualifies for benefits. Grant is a hair stylist who manages a six-person salon called Beneath the Crown in Florence, Kentucky. All the employees are independent contractors who rent booths. She’s had no luck reaching a live person in Kentucky’s unemployment office. Every time she calls, thousands of other people are trying to do the same.  Hair salon workers, freelancers waiting for stimulus aid.

Laura Grant, like many people on furlough right now, is desperately trying to reach her state’s unemployment hotline to learn if she now qualifies for benefits.  Grant is a hair stylist who manages a six-person salon called Beneath the Crown in Florence, Kentucky. All the employees are independent contractors who rent booths.  She’s had no luck reaching a live person in Kentucky’s unemployment office. Every time she calls, thousands of other people are trying to do the same. She and her fellow stylists have tried filing online for unemployment benefits but have had no luck because they have no “employer.”  “I was able to fill it out, but in the employer section, I had to put ‘self employed,’ so it denied me,” she said. President Trump and state leaders have announced that the stimulus package specifically provides benefits for self-employed and gig workers, but these hair stylists and millions of other workers like them have yet to see it.  Workers at Beneath the Crown are praying it happens. Until it does, they’ll be facing down looming bills without any way to pay.  “It’s been two weeks and I haven’t had any income,” Grant said. “We all have car payments. There are a couple of single moms who work here, so we are all up in the air and we don’t know what to do.”

Kentucky’s unemployment office says self-employed workers should fill out the online forms anyway, and the state government will “fix the issue at the back end” when the federal money comes through. Other states are also telling independent workers to file, even if the form rejects them at this point.  Grant hopes it happens soon. In the meantime, she’s trying to live by the message in her lobby: “Think positive and positive things will happen.

Regis, Great Clips want to be leaders in reopening process. Lolololol

 

Legalize Wedding Hair And Makeup In Minnesota

 

For years, Minnesotan beauticians have styled hair and applied makeup at weddings, proms, and other major social gatherings where people want to look their finest. But now a crackdown threatens to throw about 1,000 hair and makeup artists out of business.

Last December, the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners declared that applying makeup at special events could only be done by licensed salon managers, a credential that can take over 4,000 hours of training. To enforce its rules, the Board has ordered makeup artists to cease and desist and slapped them with thousands of dollars in fines. Violating the law can even risk criminal penalties.  Yet the law is filled with loopholes. The Board doesn’t require a license to offer hair or makeup services for fashion, film, media productions, photo-shoots, TV, or the theater. (Selling makeup at retail counters is also exempt.)

Minnesota’s regulations are not just ridiculous, they’re also unconstitutional. Last month, several hair and makeup artists, along with a Minneapolis-based makeup artistry school, filed a lawsuit against the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners. (The Board has declined to publicly comment on the case.)  Typically, advocates for occupational licensing claim it’s necessary to protect the public’s health and safety. But that’s hardly an issue with hair and makeup artists, since they use beauty tools found in almost any American’s home, like blow dryers, brushes, and combs. It doesn’t take thousands of hours to learn how to wash your hands and clean your tools.  Moreover, as the artists’ lawsuit argues, “any legitimate government interest defendants may have in protecting public health and safety is wholly undermined by their broad exemptions for services.  Doing hair and makeup for photo-shoots and media appearances is unregulated, while offering the exact same services at a wedding or other special event is illegal unless the artist has completed thousands of hours of useless training, a distinction that is “manifestly arbitrary and fanciful.”

Since “there is no natural and reasonable basis” to license makeup and hair services for brides, but not bridal photo-shoots, Minnesota’s wildly unequal treatment infringes on the Equal Protection Clauses of both the U.S. and Minnesota Constitutions. Make no mistake: The state’s licensing requirements are incredibly onerous. Before they can legally work at special events in Minnesota, makeup artists need at least 3,300 hours of classes and experience, while hairstylists must finish 4,250 hours of training.  First, a makeup artist must become a licensed esthetician, which requires at least 600 hours of coursework. Artists who also want to style hair face an even steeper challenge and must complete 1,550 hours of training for a license in cosmetology, a program that can cost as much as $20,000.  Worse, according to the lawsuit, the vast majority of those classes are “irrelevant,” since “at least two-thirds of the cosmetology and esthetics curricula do not relate to special event hair and makeup services.” After finishing the useless classes, both hair and makeup artists then have to pass three separate exams.  License in hand, a hair or makeup artist then needs another license, this time as a salon manager, before they can obtain a special events permit to perform at weddings and other major social gatherings. Becoming a salon manager requires working 2,700 hours in a salon, even if that work has nothing to do with the types of services an artist would provide at a wedding. After all, special events, almost by definition, rarely happen in salons.

Requiring little capital, running a hair and makeup business has been especially popular for aspiring female entrepreneurs (in jurisdictions where it’s not illegal). Demand for their services at weddings isn’t going away any time soon.