The Washington State Department of Labor has banned the sale of nail studio rentals in the state, a move that will come as a surprise to many nail enthusiasts.
But nail artists and other nail enthusiasts who have already been in touch with the agency are calling it a victory.
The agency, which is part of the Department of Workforce Development, said it will continue to enforce the rules, but it is encouraging consumers to contact the agency to find a local location for their nail studio.
The agency did not specify which nail studios are being shut down, but several have been set up at public schools.
The Department of Health and Human Services said Friday it will also continue to impose penalties for nail salon owners and employees who violate state licensing requirements.
The move came after a report by the Seattle Times last week, which said several hundred nail salon operators were under investigation for operating unlicensed nail salons.
The state Labor Department said in a statement that it was taking a “comprehensive look” at all of the nail salon licensing requirements in the nation’s largest economy.
The nail salon rules, which took effect in July, were enacted by Washington lawmakers and took effect after the state Department of Public Health and the Seattle Department of Emergency Management agreed to a three-year moratorium on all nail salon operations.
In an interview, the Labor Department’s executive director, Scott Trowbridge, said the agency would not ban any businesses outright.
But he said the state would be encouraging businesses to seek out local locations for their salon.
He also said the department was exploring the possibility of mandating that local jurisdictions obtain approval for new nail salon businesses before they can operate.
“If a person has an existing business, but is opening up a new business and the state is saying that they’re breaking the law, then that would be our preference,” he said.
Trowbridge said the commission is exploring all the options, including whether it could require a license from the county clerk’s office, the county auditor’s office or the local government before it would allow an existing local business to open up.