News release from Beacon Center of Tennessee
In its first statewide legal challenge, the Beacon Center Legal Foundation filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Memphis resident Tammy Pritchard. The lawsuit is in response to Tennessee’s unfair and unconstitutional occupational licensing regulation on shampooing.
The state of Tennessee forces hair washers to get a license before they are legally allowed to shampoo hair. Due to the state’s licensing requirement, residents must spend hundreds of hours in educational programs that cost thousands of dollars before they are able to carry out this simple task in return for money.
Even worse, no one can currently acquire a license to shampoo hair in Tennessee. This is due to the fact that there is currently no school in the entire state that offers the course that is a mandated component of the hair washing license. That means that unless you already have a hair washing license from years ago or from another state, you are unable to wash hair in Tennessee without obtaining a full cosmetology license, something that requires 1,500 hours of schooling and costs as much as $35,000 in tuition.
Beacon Director of Litigation and former U.S. Justice Department Attorney Braden Boucek stated, “The idea that a person needs to have a license to do something as simple as washing hair is not just foolish, it is unconstitutional. These laws are designed by people already in the business who are attempting to unfairly shield themselves from competition at the expense of hard working Tennesseans. That’s not what laws are for. People want to work, and this regulation hurts the very people who need a job the most. The government is preventing low-income Tennesseans from getting a good a job, and we at the Beacon Center are ready to put a stop to that.”
Boucek went on to note, “The worst part of this regulation is that the state requires you to go to a school to get a license but is unaware of any school that actually offers the program.”