Arizona Board of Cosmetology Appeals
It’s always disappointing when a cosmetologist receives an unfavorable decision from the Arizona Board of Cosmetology (“ABC“). However, cosmetologists in Arizona can benefit from understanding the process that goes along with Arizona Board of Cosmetology appeals and hearings after a case is heard by the Board. Suppose you are facing an unfavorable ABC outcome due to an offered disciplinary action. In that case, you can always appeal the decision and request an administrative hearing before the Office of Administrative Hearings.
Filing an Appeal after an Arizona Cosmetology Board Meeting
The investigatory process and the appeal process work like this: Once the Board receives a complaint or self-report they will then initiate an investigation into the Arizona cosmetologist license. The purpose of this investigation is to give the ABC evidence to make a decision on whether or not a cosmetologist should face disciplinary action. If the cosmetologist receives an unfavorable formal disciplinary decision, it is at this point, they can then file an appeal and request a hearing with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearing. An Administrative Law Judge will then oversee the appeal and the cosmetologist may need to attend a hearing. However, sometimes the investigation is automatically sent to a hearing or an informal settlement conference can be held (if requested).
Arizona State Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any cosmetologist licensee may request a legal appeal from the Arizona Board of Cosmetology Discipline to an administrative law judge with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) which is located in Phoenix. In some instances, a case is sent automatically to OAH. Arizona’s OAH hearing is conducted before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The administrative process is not as formal as a trial but is similar. Each party presents evidence using documents or sworn testimony. Each party also gives an opening and closing argument which should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other. A cosmetologist’s attorney can cross-examine witnesses and testify on their behalf. After it is completed, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, and evidence and makes a recommendation. However, the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. If an individual feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing by appealing the decision.
Criminal Reporting Requirements for a Cosmetologist
A.R.S. 32-3208 requires that cosmetologist licensees and applicants for a cosmetologist license must report misdemeanor criminal charges involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony to the Arizona Board of Cosmetology within 10 working days after the charge is filed. A working day would be considered Monday through Friday. Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within 10 business days is a violation of the Arizona statutes.
What Current and Past Crimes Must Be Reported?
Arizona Board of Cosmetology Criminal Reporting requirements holds that a felony must be reported within 10 days of being charged. The following types of a misdemeanor or other criminal histories are crimes that have been determined by the Board to be reportable pursuant to A.RS § 32-3208:
- Assault and Related Offenses
- Theft and Related Offenses
- Fraud, Deceit, and Related Offenses
- Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation of a Child or Vulnerable Adult and Related Offenses
- Sexual and Related Offenses
- Drug and/or Alcohol Related Offenses
- Arson and Related Offenses
- Animal Abuse, Cruelty and Related Offenses
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within 10 business days is a violation of the Arizona Practice Act and could result in disciplinary action which could result in Arizona Board of Cosmetology’s Probation.
DUI Criminal History
Cosmetologists, who contact our office frequently ask our attorneys if state law allows a cosmetologist with a DUI crime or conviction to get a license with the Arizona State Cosmetology Board? The short answer is yes. An Arizona Cosmetologist DUI will not necessarily prevent a cosmetologist from obtaining a license or a career in the health field. However, the State Board (which handles all complaints) has a public policy (updated as of September 2020) on their website which covers the details of what circumstances cosmetologists with a case that resulted in a felony DUI criminal conviction can get a license.
Cosmetology License Criminal Consequences
This specific policy does not apply to criminal conduct involving misdemeanor DUI charges or convictions. Once a cosmetology professional applies for a license to practice to the Arizona Board of Cosmetology, they need to disclose any felony DUI criminal court convictions (from previous years) on their application. A cosmetologist must report a felony DUI no matter how much time or how many years have passed since the time of the conviction or case. The AZ State Board may also ask about past DUI misdemeanor criminal charges or cases that resulted in a conviction. This is done to ensure a cosmetologist can perform safe patient care and can have safe direct contact with patients or other providers.
Disclosing a Criminal Record for a Professional Applicant
If a cosmetologist license applicant is not required to disclose a legal misdemeanor DUI, the AZ Board can still initiate an investigation based on the results of a healthcare fingerprint background check. The Board will then contact the professional and initiate an investigation in their practice utilizing the law of the Arizona Practice Act (current as of October 2020). This license investigation determines whether the cosmetologist is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems, and whether the cosmetologist has been rehabilitated in the time since the criminal misdemeanor DUI or DUI charges occurred. Simply, the State Board wants to know whether the applicant can provide safe nursing care with a past criminal case involving alcohol or substance abuse.
Arizona Board of Cosmetology License Complaint
Who can file a complaint against a cosmetology professional? Patients, Health Care Facilities, cosmetology professionals, and other healthcare professionals, among others, can contact the Board and allege legal violations. When the Arizona Cosmetology Board receives a complaint the Board initiates an investigation into the complaint (if the State Board has jurisdiction and the Complaint isn’t dismissed) and a case is opened. After this happens, the cosmetology professionals receive a notice and the Board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial and can protect your rights. This is because cosmetology professionals must submit a response, and interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at an AZ Podiatry Board Meeting. Our office can assist cosmetology professionals with interpreting Arizona law.
AZ Board Application Denial Assistance
Applicants to the Arizona Cosmetology Board who have a criminal history from years ago (like a DUI) or previous case discipline by the Arizona Cosmetology Board (or any other Podiatry Board) may be subject to denial of their application for licensure. Thus, those with a criminal or disciplinary history from other licensing boards will be investigated by the Arizona Cosmetology Board after receiving contact for an investigation.
Consultation with Chelle Law Arizona State Attorney
The attorneys at Chelle Law assist cosmetologists with interpreting Board policy (which is generally on the Board website). Our attorneys help healthcare workers and cosmetologists with their application to show the Board the professional isn’t a danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public and is able to provide safe patient care.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Board of Cosmetology Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.