Indiana Cosmetology License Defense Lawyers
Your commitment to your career in the field of cosmetology requires a deep understanding of your field. Earning your professional license in Indiana demonstrates your proficiency and the accomplishment of significant classroom and practical instruction. But once earned, your license could be at risk if someone files a complaint against you related to your services or salon. That’s when you need the Indiana cosmetology license defense lawyers from Keffer Hirschauer LLP.
At Keffer Hirschauer, you will find your Indiana professional license defense lawyer to be a skilled litigator with a comprehensive understanding of the license complaint process for those whose profession is governed by the State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners (Board). Experienced counsel in your corner can mean the difference between keeping your license—and your livelihood—or starting over again from scratch.
What Our Indiana Cosmetology License Defense Lawyers Can Do for You
The Board issues cosmetology licenses to applicants who meet the statutory educational and exam requirements. Failure to comply with board-established standards and rules or other professional licensure laws can be the basis for license revocation. Alleged failures will typically be brought to the Board’s attention by state inspectors or complaints from customers.
The Board has also established sanitation standards for hair, skincare, and nail salons, both stationary and mobile. State inspectors visit salons periodically to verify whether the licensee is meeting those standards. For example, findings of unsanitary conditions can immediately threaten the salon or cosmetologist’s ability to continue operation. Your license could be at risk without qualified Indiana cosmetology license defense lawyers standing by your side.
Your license is your livelihood. A do-it-yourself approach is inadequate for effective cosmetology license defense in Indiana. Let a Keffer Hirschauer LLP professional license defense attorney use his or her experience and litigation skills for your benefit.
Common Cosmetology License Violations
Indiana law imposes strict requirements for obtaining a cosmetology license for various related professions, including:
- Beauty culture inspectors
The Board also regulates certain cosmetology businesses:
- Beauty culture schools
- Beauty culture salons and mobile salons
- Tanning facilities
One common allegation that could put your license at risk involves claimed violations of state safety and sanitation requirements. Regular inspections check for compliance in this area, and cosmetologists are prohibited from providing services outside a licensed stationary or mobile salon. It may seem convenient for a licensee to visit a client’s home or have a client into their own home to provide services, but the state requirements for the licensure of salons, sanitation, and state inspections render the provision of home-based services impractical and, therefore, prohibited.
Other common violations that are found by inspectors include the failure to have a current salon or cosmetology license, failure to properly display the license, and provision of services by unlicensed personnel. In times of personnel shortages, salon licensees must avoid the temptation to have an unlicensed employee deliver services that require a license. If you or your facility is facing any of these or other violations, one of the Indiana cosmetology license defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help.
Other Allegations Requiring Indiana Cosmetology License Defense
Licensing and operational issues aside, the interactive relationship between the licensed cosmetologist and a client also provides for potential problems. As with a number of licensed professions, cosmetologists are in physical contact with clients, and, in that situation, there may be times when clients feel offended or maybe even violated. People are more likely to file a complaint against a cosmetologist when they feel their physical space has been invaded.
Further, given the fact that cosmetology involves the physical appearance and attractiveness of clients, this is yet another very sensitive aspect to the profession. Some clients may come into the encounter with a specific look to be achieved in mind. They often pick images of models or even celebrities whose looks they want to copy. If the results are not up to their expectations, dissatisfaction and, in extreme cases, a formal complaint can result.
Indiana Cosmetology License Defense Lawyers Can Help Defend Your Fitness for Pursuing Your Profession
One cost of working in a licensed profession is being subject to the complaints of those being served. The state has established standards for the licensure of cosmetologists, but as with all licensed professions, it is not just left at that. Licensees must be deemed eligible to retain the license based on established criteria.
All licensed professionals, including cosmetologists, may be disqualified from providing services if they are statutorily determined to be unfit to do so. The board could find that a licensee demonstrates professional incompetence, undertakes services that he or she is not qualified to perform, suffers from a mental disability, or is impaired by substance abuse or addiction. These are hard and fast statutory standards that could be the basis for customer complaints.
Licensees must also adhere to good business practices involving advertising and the delivery of services. Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes, advertising can sometimes lay the groundwork for a complaint. Customer expectations based on the advertising of some service may at times be too high. Since state law specifically prohibits false advertising as a professional standard, that is an obvious basis for complaint.
Many may be surprised to learn that non-cosmetology factors can also impact fitness to receive or maintain your cosmetology license. For example, you must be current in child support and property taxes and have a record free of certain criminal convictions.
If complaints arise or you run afoul of one of the general professional license requirements, an Indiana cosmetology license defense attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help protect your license and your profession.
Potential Penalties Imposed by the Board for Professional License Violations
When inspection violations, customer complaints, or allegations of your failure to meet professional standards reach the board or the Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, your livelihood is threatened. The Consumer Protection Division is charged with the responsibility to investigate complaints. If this division determines that a complaint has merit, the attorney general may prosecute the case before the Board. Hiring a qualified Indiana professional license defense lawyer as early in this process as possible is the best way to protect your career.
Most complaints or findings of violations are settled in advance of prosecution by the attorney general’s office. The law provides for action by the attorney general to cease if the Board and the licensee agree to a settlement to resolve the matter. In such cases, the Board determines the penalty to be imposed, if any.
If the attorney general recommends prosecution and no settlement is reached, the matter proceeds to the Board for an evidentiary hearing. If the evidence submitted substantiates the allegations, the Board determines the penalty for the violations. Penalties imposed by the Board can include the following:
- Permanent revocation of a salon’s or cosmetologist’s license
- Suspension of license for a specified period
- Censure a licensee
- Issuance of a reprimand
- Placement of a licensee on probation
Pursuant to Indiana Code § 25-8-3-30, the Board may also impose a civil penalty of up to $500 for these violations:
- Failure to display a license
- Failure to continue to meet licensure requirements
- Engaging in beauty culture outside a beauty culture salon
- Performing any act authorized by a license without possession of a license
Penalties can be held off or mitigated by effective representation by an Indiana cosmetology license defense attorney. Even at the settlement stage, representation can help minimize any adverse action by the Board or even prevent prosecution of the allegations in a complaint.
Indiana Cosmetology License Defense Lawyers Can Help You Negotiate with the Board
In any negotiation between the Board and a licensee, there is an imbalance of power, with the Board holding all the cards. An Indiana professional license defense lawyer can help level the playing field. While negotiations are very informal, that does not mean the issues at hand are simple. As such, it is not best to go it alone.
When defending against allegations before the Board in a case brought by the attorney general, it is even more important to be represented by counsel. At this stage there are procedural and due process matters that can be most confusing. A trained Indiana professional license defense lawyer knows how to protect your interests in such a proceeding.
Your Right to Appeal as a Cosmetologist
If an adverse action, such as license revocation, is taken by the Board after the prosecution by the attorney general, a licensee has the right to appeal that decision. Such cases involve a hearing before an administrative law. Representation by an experienced, Indiana professional license defense lawyer is critical to presenting the most persuasive case in your favor.
When defending against a career-threatening action at this level, a licensee needs effective and aggressive representation. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, our Indianapolis cosmetology license defense lawyers bring years of experience in administrative appeals, giving you a much needed advantage for moving forward and protecting your livelihood.
An administrative hearing operates much like a court of law, with a presiding judge, an attorney representing the Board, and, hopefully, an attorney representing the licensed cosmetologist. While you can represent yourself in such a proceeding, doing so is highly inadvisable.
Moreover, while there are procedural issues in a Board hearing, as noted above, there are even more formal legal procedures involved in an administrative hearing. For a licensed cosmetologist to make an appeal without the assistance of a defense counsel could put your license and career in peril.
Contact One of Our Indiana Cosmetology License Defense Lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP
A lot of people agonize over choosing a career path. If you have chosen a career in cosmetology and gone through the time and effort to get your license, then keeping that license is worth fighting for. If you face alleged violations or complaints before the Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners, make sure you put forth your best effort by engaging the services of one of the Indiana cosmetology license defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Contact us today for a free consultation at (317) 857-0160 or on our contact page.