New state bill would throw added costs onto local salon, barbershop workers
YAKIMA, Wash.- At only 27-years-old, Alexandra Durrin owns the salon Alexandra’s on Second near downtown Yakima.
But after accomplishing her dream of being a business owner, Durrin said a new state bill is threatening what she's built.
“Pursuing your American dream and now I’m getting punished for it,” she said.
SB 5326 would change the way salons are run across Washington state.
Initially it was going to ban booth renting. Where stylists rent a space in a salon but are considered independent from the business.
Recent changes allowed booth renting, but would not allow an owner to do both.
“The way this bill reads I would have to choose. Am I going to sell my business that I worked my whole life for or am I going to not perform the services and just run the business,” Durrin said.
And there's even more changes for those paying money for their own space.
The bill would take away protections booth renters currently have and make them pay into unemployment, workers comp and increased business and operation taxes.
Which would set those who're renting closer to the ones who are working as regular employees.
Cosmetologist Alex Wilson said that would take away some of the incentive to be a booth renter.
“Working commission for possibly 40+ hours a week it just didn't work for me to be a mom and be home to still be in my daughter’s life,” she said.
Supporters of the bill said it's a way to level the playing field and have one universal standard rather than two different rules for people working in the same space.
But those like Wilson said they pay extra money to rent and have more flexibility in their work.
“In life, the playing field is not always level. You got into life what you put into it and for us we put a lot into our businesses and we would like to see the benefits of that,” she said.
The bill initially singled out cosmetologists, but just today state legislators added barbers to those who will be affected as well.