Proposed bills threaten business for hairdressers, salon owners

Intermediary employees. Contributing agents. Worker wage boards. This is the gobbledygook that hairdressers and salon owners like my wife, Julee, are trying to make sense of in Olympia, where lawmakers have unleashed a swarm of potentially crippling legislation to reform independent contracting.

If you work as an independent contractor, sole proprietor or booth renter – or know someone who does – be aware that your business model is threatened.

I am not aware of any attempt by lawmakers to seek input from independent contractors before suddenly introducing these bills. There is no detail about what professions they will affect, the cost to comply, etc. These bills threaten to pull the rug out from under a lot of good people.

Why the big rush? Why not step back, gather more information and quantify the benefits and harms in terms we can all understand?

Legislators say that’s what hearings are for, but is it really fair to expect working people from all over the state to show up for an early morning hearing in Olympia?

More than 1,000 hairdressers made the trek last week. Should they have to do it over and over and over again for each of these bills?

Boeing would send an army of lawyers and lobbyists if it was threatened in this manner, but the self-employed don’t have that kind of money and muscle. If you care, let your legislators know you oppose SB 5690, HB 1515, SB 5513, HB 1601 and SB 5326.

– Julee Broberg


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