January 28, 2019

Hairdressers rally at the Capitol to protect ability to work as independent contractors

By: Brian Mittge   Comments: 0
Jenny Treutle, owner/stylist at Studio 4 Hair Design in Moses Lake, speaks in opposition to Senate Bill 5326 during testimony before the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Joining her at the far end of the table is Heather Kerekffy of Salon Envy. (Photo: Brian Temple/AWB)

More than 2,700 hair stylists and salon owners converged on Olympia this morning to testify against Senate Bill 5326, which would impose a new tax burden on small hair salon owners and independent stylists and cosmetologists. An AWB panel was the first to testify against the bill this morning. AWB News was on scene and has a full report.

The issue has attracted immense concern from stylist/salon owners across the state. This morning, the line of concerned small-business owners stretched out of the Senate hearing room, down the hallway, out the doors of the Cherberg Building and down the sidewalk toward the Capitol dome.

The bill would impose an unfair tax burden on hair salon owners and independent stylists and cosmetologists, they said, effectively turning them into employees of the salons rather than independent contractors. Q13 has more about the bill, which is one of several proposals this session targeting independent contractors. House Bill 1515, which was heard this afternoon, also drew an overflow crowd.

AWB Government Affairs Director Bob Battles joined Heather Kerekffy and Jenny Treutle, hair stylists and small-business owners from Moses Lake, during the first panel of witnesses to testify against the bill this morning before the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee.

AWB News was there this morning to interview the stylists and cover the packed public hearing, which KING 5 reports attracted more than 1,000 people. More than 2,700 signed in at the Senate.

Bill sponsor Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, quickly announced changes to the bill based on the overwhelming feedback over recent days from the stylists.

For more, contact AWB's Bob Battles.

AWB News: Senate Bill 5326 from Association of WA Business on Vimeo.