Hot Topics

Here is were's where we keep you abreast of the latest news, information, and happenings impacting California’s beauty and barbering industry.  From recent changes in the law to emerging policy reform initiatives, you’ll be on the cutting edge of real-time, reliable and actionable insights that only the PBFC can deliver.

Timeline of Governor Newsom’s Capitulation

Posted May 28, 2020, under Hot Topics

Given there are some in our industry who haven’t been following the work of the PBFC (in pressuring Governor Newsom to #OpenSalonsNow via a federal court lawsuit and concerted media campaign), we thought it would be helpful to provide a brief timeline of our work on behalf of all 620,000 licensed professionals in this state:

April 28: After nearly two months of being in lockdown, Governor Newsom announces a 4-Phased reopening plan, placing beauty industry businesses/schools in Phase 3.  He clarifies Phase 3 would be additional “months not weeks” away.  PBFC sends letter to Governor Newsom’s Cabinet Secretary laying out our profound concerns with prolonging the shutdown throughout the summer.

April 29: PBFC meets with Deputy Cabinet Secretary and State Board Executive Officer to explain how additional months of lockdowns will be untenable, and could undermine the very basis of our licensed, state-regulated industry (and devastate salon businesses, stylist livelihoods and students’ dreams).

May 1: State Board warns all 620,000 licensed professionals (including 53,000 licensed establishments) to stay shut down or else risk losing their licenses.  This negates any hope of a political solution.

May 5: PBFC retains Dhillon Law Group to begin the process of filing a federal district court action against Governor Newsom and other state officials to compel them to reopen our salons.

May 6: PBFC informs media of our intention to file suit and the reasons why this was our only available recourse.  We begin our #OpenSalonsNow PR campaign.

May 7: Governor Newsom responds to a reporter’s question about our vowed lawsuit with the bombshell assertion that he doesn’t feel comfortable reopening salons because the first community spread occurred in an unnamed/unidentified nail salon.  This was news to all 39+ million Californians, including our own state regulators — who work for the Governor in overseeing our industry!

May 8: Media press Governor Newsom on his defamatory slander against nail salons, and he claims for privacy and HIPPA constraints that he isn’t at liberty to provide any details of his allegation.  He states how much he admires Vietnamese nail salons and holds them in “reverence.”

May 12: PBFC files suit in the Central District Court in Los Angeles.

May 19: Governor Newsom’s attorneys file a 243-page Response. Nowhere in their response is the Governor’s nail salon allegation even mentioned.

Video Montage of Lawsuit Coverage

May 22: Federal Judge assigned this suit orders both sides to file closing arguments via 5-page Briefs by Tuesday, May 26, at which time the Judge will take into submission the case and shortly thereafter provide his ruling.

May 26: Governor Newsom suddenly cuts short his additional “months not weeks” vow and authorizes the reopening of hair salons/barbershops in all counties that have attested to their ability to reopen (at the time 47 counties).  His office simultaneously post guidelines on said salons as a condition of reopening.  Later that day, the Attorney General’s lawyers file their 5-page final Brief, pointing to the Governor’s announcement that day as reason for the Court to dismiss our lawsuit.  PBFC attorneys file our 5-page Brief, addressing the holes in the Governor’s hastily announced reopening plans (e.g., it doesn’t apply to all hair salons/barbershops, leaving out approximately 45% of them, and it keeps nail and skin care services in perpetual shutdown; it also inappropriately punts regulatory authority from our State Board down to ill-equipped County Health Departments; among other clear legal deficiencies).

We hope this brief timeline helps illustrate how the actions of the PBFC led Governor Newsom to fast-forward his Phase 3 timeframe.  And while we are grateful to have substantively and timely moved the needle, we recognize there is still much work to be done on behalf of our entire licensed population statewide (as this short video montage illustrates):

Partial Victory For Some

The PBFC proudly stood up for you when no one else would.

We are eternally grateful for those who have supported our lawsuit and PR campaign, organizing peaceful demonstrations, naming their businesses as Parties to our suit and responding to press interviews.  We are also very grateful for those who have contributed to our GoFundMe Legal Defense Fund linked below (hundreds of behind-the-chair professionals and independent salon owners and franchisees), as well as to those who provided direct financial and technical support (Salon Success Academies, Federico Beauty Institute, Bellus Academy, Salon Coach Kim Hansen, a faithful MoveOn Petitioner gatherer and two outstanding national brands: Paul Mitchell Systems & Academies and Fantastic Sams).

Legal Defense Fund

PBFC Stood Up for Salon/Barbershop Professionals

Posted May 18, 2020, under Advocacy, Events, Hot Topics

When Governor Newsom announced on April 28 — nearly two months into the lockdown — that salons and beauty colleges would remain shut additional “months not weeks”, the PBFC jumped into action. We immediately sent his Cabinet Secretary a letter, which precipitated an April 29 hour and-a-half phone conference (which …

Rally at Capitol and Video Testimonials

Posted May 18, 2020, under Advocacy, Events, Hot Topics

RALLY AT STATE CAPITOL! Some behind-the-chair professionals in So Cal are organizing a rally in Sacramento this coming Monday, May 18, at Noon, to peaceably and respectfully protest the prolonged lockdown Please consider wearing a mask and red attire (to distinguish us from everyone else). We’ll be meeting across the …


Posted May 12, 2020, under Advocacy, Events, Hot Topics, Licensure, Schools/Students

The PBFC has filed its Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief this morning in federal district court in Los Angeles. Click here to read the lawsuit as filed More than two months have passed since Governor Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency in California, and throughout that time, he and …

Time to Sue Governor Newsom

Posted May 7, 2020, under Hot Topics

The PBFC has decided to sue Governor Newsom to force him to reopen our salons much sooner than his vowed “months not weeks” timeline. We understand that not all salons and stylists will want to reopen under the current threat of this pandemic.  Nothing in our legal challenge will force …

PBFC Calls on Governor Newsom to Lift Shutdown

Posted April 28, 2020, under Advocacy, Hot Topics, Licensure, Schools/Students

Attached below is the content of a letter the PBFC just sent to Governor Newsom’s Cabinet Secretary over our State Board of Barbering & Cosmetology (and the Dept of Consumer Affairs):   Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency ATTN:  Secretary Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez 915 Capitol Mall, Suite 350-A Sacramento, …

Unemployment Benefits to Booth Renters

Posted March 31, 2020, under Hot Topics

By Fred Jones, PBFC Legal Counsel The historic, $2.2T federal CARES Act authorizes states to offer unemployment insurance compensation to independent contractors who due to coronavirus shutdowns have been forced out of work. California’s Employment Development Department is working on implementing those benefits and will update this site with information …

Photo of Fred Jones

SBA Coronavirus Loans to Small Business

Posted March 28, 2020, under Hot Topics

By Fred Jones, PBFC Legal Counsel In addition to the historic stimulus legislation with direct grants and no-interest loans just signed by President Trump, the SBA has a number of coronavirus-related loans available to small businesses grappling with shutdown orders (as is the case with every California salon and many …

Coronavirus Orders/Recommendations

Posted March 16, 2020, under Events, Hot Topics

By Fred Jones, PBFC Legal Counsel As of today (March 16), government and private-sector responses to the growing coronavirus threat continue to ramp up. Governor Newsom issued a rare, Sunday Executive Order which seeks to minimize the spread of this virus in the Golden State by shutting down or limiting …

Photo of Fred Jones

Time to Revisit Your Booth Rental Contract

Posted March 9, 2020, under Hot Topics, Labor Law

This column isn’t meant to provide legal counsel to any particular booth rental salon, since the operations of every salon is unique to that establishment.  The law must apply specifically to the all of the relevant facts on the ground, not just the written contract.   Since we cannot answer …