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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Changes for independent hair stylists dropped

OLYMPIA – A controversial proposal to require independent hair stylists to become employees of the salons where they rent a booth was dropped by its sponsor Thursday.

After opponents flooded a hearing of the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee on Monday, Chairwoman Karen Keiser, D-Kent, said she has heard the concerns of opponents and will shift her focus to noncompete clauses in employment contracts that some businesses require their stylists to sign.

Keiser’s original bill proposed changes to state requirements and exemptions for business and occupation taxes, unemployment and disability programs for stylists who operate as sole proprietors and rent booths in a salon owned by someone else. Opponents said those would mean they would be under different rules than other types of sole proprietorships, discriminating against a profession dominated by women and minorities.

“As a legislator, it is my responsibility to listen when people tell me something is wrong and thoughtfully make sure any legislative proposal achieves its intended goals without causing unintended consequences,” she said in announcing the bill was “not moving forward.”