Why are eyebrow threaders forced to log hundreds of hours and spend thousands of their hard-earned dollars learning cosmetology skills – not threading techniques – in order to be able to practice legally in Louisiana?
That very question lies at the center of a pending lawsuit against the Louisiana Board of Cosmetology.
Lata Jagtiani, the owner of Threading Studio & Spa, had been employing expert eyebrow threaders Ushaben Chudasma and Panna Shah up until June 2016 when the Louisiana Board of Cosmetology slapped Jagtiani with $5,000 in fines and ordered her to fire both threaders. Unable to find suitable replacements, Lagtiani now finds her business in jeopardy.
Citing unfair licensing requirements, Lagtiana sought the assistance of the Institute for Justice (IJ), which filed a lawsuit on behalf of her and her former employees. The IJ is a nationally recognized public interest law firm that won an extremely similar case involving threading licensing requirements in Texas back in 2015; a case that the IJ ultimately won.
Currently, eyebrow threaders must obtain a cosmetology license to legally practice in Louisiana. According to the State Board of Cosmetology, before even applying for licensure, eyebrow threaders must:
- Be at least 16 years-old
- Have at least a 10th grade education
- Complete 750 hours at a board-approved cosmetology school
- Successfully pass state board examinations
- Pay licensing fees
The IJ’s major argument is that cosmetology schools in Louisiana are not mandated to instruct in eyebrow threading nor is eyebrow threading even part of the board’s examination process.
As a result, it stands to reason that eyebrow threaders could go broke learning cosmetology curriculum that doesn’t apply to their trade, which the IJ claims violates threaders’ constitutional right to earn a living without superfluous government restrictions in Louisiana.
Although the dispute wages on, if the IJ’s 2015 win in Texas court is any indication of what’s in store for eyebrow threaders in Louisiana, Chudasma and Shah can rest assured they’ll be back to work in no time.