Today’s more that Juneteenth to me most you you know my thoughts on Juneteenth and the ignorance of knowing we were free.
Well today I woke up to GREAT 💯 news. The Hair Braiders are going to court. But this time with an expert patent infringement attorney.
☝🏾I have attached his ( John Shaw of ShawKeller, LLP) press release to this post.
✔️Please read it, share it, and walk in your POWERS on Juneteenth ‼️
PHILADELPHIA—Pennsylvania’s mandatory license for hair braiding still stands even after a commonwealth government study found that the license blocks opportunities and is unnecessary to protecting the public. Gov. Tom Wolf admitted the state should eliminate the license because it blocks hardworking people from, “getting a good job, supporting their families and growing our economy.” Today, 2 years after the Governor’s comments, three Pennsylvania braiders launched a lawsuit to finally unravel the unnecessary and burdensome requirement.
Astou Diop, Tanyita Henry and Awa Gaye are experienced in traditional African hair braiding, a natural technique involving no chemicals or heating implements. Each of them learned their skills at an early age, just as generations of women before them learned. Yet Pennsylvania requires 300 hours of unnecessary training and a computerized test before these women can braid for paying customers. John Shaw, of Shaw Keller LLP, filed the suit on behalf of the braiders at the Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg.
“Braiding is so safe that no natural hair braider in Pennsylvania has ever received a health or safety complaint,” said Shaw. “Yet braiders are still required to get hundreds of hours of training, much of it in subjects that have nothing to do with braiding. The Pennsylvania Constitution protects the braiders’ right to earn a living. Right now, they have to stop working to get completely unnecessary training.”
While Pennsylvania mandates 300 hours of training to acquire a license, no cosmetology school offers close to that number of hours of education in braiding. Additionally, Pennsylvania has only licensed two braiders to teach natural hair braiding, with one of these individuals living in New Jersey. This means that in order to comply with the law, natural braiders must take hours of instruction in cosmetology practices that they do not intend to offer.
“My shop is completely focused on natural hair braiding and I only employ natural braiders,” said Astou Diop, the owner and manager of a shop in Philadelphia. “Braiders can’t put their careers on hold to get training that doesn’t improve their skills and that isn’t needed to keep people safe.”
“This is an issue for communities across Pennsylvania including near State College,” said Tanyita Henry who lives in Bellefonte, 9 miles from Penn State’s campus. “There are too few resources for black students and residents outside of Philly. I want to open a salon to meet their hair needs.”
Currently 28 states allow braiders to practice without a license, and legislation to eliminate the braiding license is currently awaiting the Florida governor’s signature. Among them, three states bordering Pennsylvania do not license the practice: Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia. Even among the few states that require a license for braiders, Pennsylvania’s requirements stand out as exceptionally burdensome. Only Louisiana requires more training, 500 hours, and that state’s requirement is also being challenged in court.
Following a June 2018 study by the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs focused on identifying any overly broad or overly burdensome Pennsylvania occupational license, Governor Wolf called for the elimination of the braiding license. Pennsylvania’s Acting Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs and Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs also recommended repeal of the license and noted that no natural hair braider in Pennsylvania had ever received a customer-driven complaint relating to health or safety.