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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2016 01:17 PM
From: Senator Kim L. Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Lavatories in Cosmetology Salons
I am introducing legislation amending the Cosmetology Law to address the issue of lavatories within cosmetology salons, esthetician salons, nail technology salons and natural hair braiding salons.

Currently, regulations promulgated by the State Board of Cosmetology require a salon to have adequate lavatories located within the square footage of the salon. If a cosmetologists or nail technician wants to operate a business where a full bathroom is not physically located within the actual salon, they must go to the State Board of Cosmetology and obtain a variance. Whether the board grants that variance is arbitrary since there are no established distance or access requirements and "adequate" is subjective and undefined within the regulations.

Many small business owners have been denied the lavatory variance because their business is located within their home and the bathroom is located within living quarters. Small cosmetology businesses that want to share space with other businesses have also been denied the variance because a public restroom is accessible but not located immediately within the nail or hair operation.

This requirement really hurts constituents, particularly women, who are trying to operate small home-based beauty businesses. Considering people have been doing hair and nails at home long before now, the current regulation seems very over-reaching. These individuals already go through the process of becoming both educated and licensed and then have to face expensive and prohibitive obstacles to the marketplace.

This legislation will require access to a full bathroom for use by clients and employees within the building where a salon is located. It does not negate the need for sinks or other items deemed necessary by the board for sanitation and the bill will prohibit the use of salon areas for living, dining or sleeping quarters. Consumers will be protected while small entrepreneurs will be helped.

Introduced as SB256