Louisiana has some absurd occupational licensing requirements. For example, in order to arrange flowers you must have a license. Recently, the Legislature tightened licensing requirements for contractors so much that it will require landlords and flippers to get contractors licenses.
But this licensing requirement takes the cake. Lata Jagtiani owned a kiosk at Lakeside Mall in Metairie called The Threading Studio and Spa. The business specialized in something called “threading“, which is an Eastern practice using a cotton thread to remove unwanted hair from the face.
That was until the state shut them down. From Reason:
Every six to eight months, Jagtiani says, the state inspectors would visit and issue a warning because she was operating without running water and without proper licenses.
Last year, things got more serious when Jagtiani received a fine of $5,000 and was forced to move out of her location in the mall. She has now relocated to a strip mall nearby, which has the requisite supply of tap water but she says it’s more difficult to attract as many customers in the new location.
“People said to me ‘don’t move, don’t move,’ and I had to tell them ‘it’s not my decision, the state board, they are making me move,'” Jagtiani said in an interview last week.
She also had to fire two employees, Ushaben Chudasama and Panna Shah, earlier this year, after the state Board of Cosmetology, which enforces the licensing rules, caught them working without a license.
On Tuesday, Jagtiani, Chudasama and Shah filed a lawsuit against the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology, challenging the legitimacy of the licensing laws that cost them their jobs and jeopardized the future of Jagtiani’s business.
The three plaintiffs are being aided by the Institute for Justice, a national libertarian law firm that last year scored a victory over a similar eyebrow threading licensing law in Texas.
Threading does not require running water, by the way. The state requires threaders to take 750 hours of classes that have nothing to do with threading.
Louisiana is the eighth worst state for occupation licensing in the country. Unnecessary occupational licensing restricts the ability of the poorest Louisianians to better themselves.
The single most helpful Louisiana legislators can do to fight poverty is make it easier for Louisianians to work. They can do that by reforming our occupational licensing rules.