Media Right to Earn a Living

News Release: Entrepreneurs sue as Kansas licensing requirement limits the American Dream

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Kansas Justice Institute defends the right to earn an honest living in Kansas

OLATHE, KS. – Kansas Justice Institute partnered with three entrepreneurs to fight back against unreasonable occupational licensing requirements. In Kansas, it is a crime to remove eyebrow hair with a piece of cotton thread unless the threader holds a license.

Jigisha Modi and her husband Jignesh Biscuitwala are unable to hire Jignesh’s mother, Jyotsna Biscuitwala, as they look to expand their business. Jyostna has threaded for decades but cannot go to work for her son and daughter in-law without completing 1,000 hours of instruction, even though it’s estimated that less than 1% of the schooling is devoted exclusively to threading if it is taught at all.

Kansas law requires a government-issued permission slip just to be able to use a single piece of cotton thread.

Sam MacRoberts, Litigation Director for Kansas Justice Institute, says, “The American Dream should not be crushed by unreasonable rules and regulations like these. What is happening is unfair and unreasonable, and that is why Kansas Justice Institute is helping Jigisha, Jignesh, and Jyotsna fight back.”

The lawsuit was filed in Shawnee County District Court today challenging these unnecessary licensing requirements. The lawsuit was filed by the Kansas Justice Institute on behalf of Jigisha Modi and members of her family, a licensed eyebrow threader and business owner.

Jigisha Modi is a licensed cosmetologist and operates a licensed esthetics business in Olathe, Kansas. She and her husband, Jignesh Biscuitwala, run the business together.

Jigisha Modi immigrated to the United States in 1997 and became a citizen with the ambition to pursue the American Dream. She obtained her cosmetology license and started her own business.

Jigisha says, “Eyebrow threading is very safe. It does not require any chemicals or sharp tools. Just a simple piece of cotton thread. It is a very safe technique, and it is very sad for our business and our family that I cannot hire an experienced family member to help.”

Jyotsna Biscuitwala, Jignesh’s mother and Jigisha’s mother-in-law, has nearly thirty years of threading experience. She taught her daughter-in-law, Jigisha, the art of threading and wants to work for Jigisha and her son, Jignesh, in their threading salon. However, Jyotsna does not have a license from the Kansas Board of Cosmetology and is unable to obtain one.

Eyebrow threading is a technique that uses a single strand of cotton thread to remove unwanted hair. It does not usually involve skin-to-skin contact between the threading artist and customer, does not reuse the same tools on different customers, and does not involve the use of sharp implements, harsh chemicals, or heat.

MacRoberts says, “The Kansas Constitution forbids outrageous occupational licensing regimes like this one and protects the right to earn an honest living. Kansans have the right to be free from unreasonable and oppressive laws.”

Kansas Justice Institute is the pro-bono public-interest litigation arm of Kansas Policy Institute, which advocates free markets and limited regulation.

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