A bill that creates guidelines for salon booth renting is making its way through the Californiastate legislature. Assembly Bill 1358, introduced by Assemblywoman Betty Karnette, spells out the relationship between renters and salon landlords, says Ken Cassidy, a salon owner and management consultant who proposed the bill.

“Contract labor is not a new idea. The federal and state governments both say it’s legal. What’s not super clear is what the guidelines and rules are,” Cassidy says. He hopes the bill will result in renters, landlords, and the Employment Development Department (which audits booth renting salons) all operating by the same set of rules.

The bill would require renters to hold valid business licenses; carry their own professional liability, malpractice, and premise insurance; have a contract agreeing to pay their own taxes; have their own appointment book, provide their own tools and equipment; and establish their own prices and collect their own fees. Renters could not be required to sell products or follow a dress code set by the salon owner. The bill would also require that renters have their own key to the front door.

Current law allows salon owners to add booth renters to their own insurance policies, says Cassidy, who has rented out booth space for 11 years and whose company, Kassidy’s Salon Management Consultant Co., specializes in booth rental issues.

Opposition to the bill has come from some salon employees and from those who don’t think the bill goes far enough. Robert Gross of the California Cosmetology Coalition, an association for salon owners and cosmetology school owners, calls the bill a step in the right direction.

“We all know what makes booth rental bad. There’s no proof of liability insurance, they don’t pay taxes, no one is in charge of their conduct or continuing training. It drags the professionalism of the whole industry down,” says Gross, who adds that there are highly professional booth renters out there as well.

For information on the bill, which is awaiting a hearing date, or on booth renting itself, contact Cassidy at 110 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802; or call (310) 432-4462.

If legislation proposed by the California Cosmetology Coalition (CCC) is passed, California cosmetology students may be working in salons eight hours per week as “externs.”

Senate Bill 1498 by Sen. Teresa Hughes unanimously passed out of committee and is awaiting a hearing in the state senate. The California Cosmetology Association (CCA) opposes the bill on tire grounds that salons may take advantage of the externs as a cheap labor pool.

The State Board of Cosmetology also opposed the bill in its initial from, a board spokesperson said. The board has not seen the bill .since it was amended and has no new position on it she says.

Robert Gross, president of the CCC and the owner of seven cosmetology schools says the bill is aimed at innervating cosmetology students, providing them an avenue for work experience, and helping salon owners recruit and train future hairdressers. Only students at private cosmetology schools would be eligible for the program, and they could only work at salons that operate with employees, not booth renters. Participants would be required to wear name tags identifying them as students. They could only assist licensed operators, not perform services themselves, says Cross.

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