Since the California State Board of Barbering & Cosmetology began enforcing new law AB 409 on Feb. 15, 10 nail salons have already been placed on immediate probation for pedicure stations that don't meet sanitation requirements. AB 409 became law in January 2008 and allows the board to immediately suspend a salon's license for certain sanitation violations without first holding a hearing. In practice, the suspension is immediately stayed and the salon is put on immediate probation.
Violations that can result in immediate probation include pedicure basins or tubs that visibly show dirt, or if dirt is found when screens are removed; no pedicure cleaning logs; if the cleaning material for proper disinfection or sanitation of equipment isn't adequate; implements that are visibly dirty; or a history of repeated violations related to manicuring or pedicure equipment. At a press conference about the new law, Jerry Tyler, president of the California State Board, explained that an inspector who sees any of these violations takes a digital picture of the violation and immediately sends it to the board's executive officer (or designee) in the state's capital of Sacramento. It's then up to the executive officer's discretion whether to immediately suspend the salon's license; if a suspension is ordered, the executive officer issues a written notice of immediate suspension.
Terms of the probation include paying the fines for each unsanitary pedicure chair ($500 per chair), paying for re-inspections at least quarterly ($42 per station), and taking a remedial training course.
A salon owner may ask for a hearing to review a suspension, but only within 30 days after the suspension goes into effect. Of the 10 salons that have already been cited, seven have been re-inspected and five of those are now in compliance.
To hear an audio interview with board president Jerry Tyler on the impetus behind this law and where he thinks rules and regulations are headed, click here.