Arizona Board of Cosmetology Complaint Lawyer: Our attorney can assist a Cosmetologist with Board Complaints
Who can file a complaint against a cosmetologist? Patients, health care facilities, other professionals, among others. When the Arizona Board of Cosmetology receives a complaint, the Board initiates an investigation into the complaint (if the Board has jurisdiction and the Complaint isn’t dismissed). After this happens, the cosmetologist receives notice and the board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial for cosmetologists as they must submit a response, interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at an Arizona Board of Cosmetology.
Responding to Cosmetology Practice Complaints and Investigations
After receiving an Arizona Board of Cosmetology Complaint or self-report, a cosmetologist receives a notice from the Board requesting additional information as well as a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the Arizona Board of Cosmetology assigns an investigator to the complaint and they begin to collect evidence. The documents and evidence collected includes:
- Patient medical records
- Employment files from the cosmetologist’s employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint (These interviewees can include the patient, medical director, colleagues, etc.)
Appeals of Arizona Board Decisions by Attorneys
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 an Arizona Board of Cosmetology Complaint is heard. If you are facing an unfavorable ABC outcome due to an Arizona Board of Cosmetology Disciplinary Action, you can always appeal the decision.
Filing an Appeal after a Cosmetology Board Meeting
The investigatory process and the appeal process work like this: The Arizona Board receives a complaint or initiates an investigation into the conduct of the cosmetologist. Once the board receives a complaint or self-report they will then initiate an investigation. 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 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 hearing or an informal settlement conference can be held.
Cosmetologist Administrative Appeal and Hearing Information
Any cosmetologist licensee may request a legal appeal of Arizona State Board 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. The 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 his or her behalf. After it is completed, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, evidence and makes a recommendation. However, the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. If an individuals feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing.
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 of an investigation.
Cosmetologist Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any professional cosmetology professionals licensee may request a legal appeal of an Arizona Cosmetology Board disciplinary action 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. The 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 cosmetology professional’s attorney can cross examine witnesses and testify on his or her behalf. After it is completed, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, evidence and makes a recommendation. However, the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. If an individuals feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing.
Cosmetology Board Disciplinary Actions
Cosmetology professionals who hold a license or certification in Arizona can face license actions by the AZ Cosmetology professionals Board for any investigatory matters. If the Board determines formal licensing action is necessary it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of the Arizona Podiatry Practice Act and Arizona law. Thus, at an Arizona Cosmetology Board Meeting the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation, thus, a defense attorney may be needed. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the cosmetology professionals formal discipline.
Examples of Disciplinary Actions include:
- CASE DISMISSAL: The Board may dismiss a case if they determine there was not a violation of Arizona law.
- LETTER OF CONCERN: A letter from the Board expressing concern that the cosmetology professional’s conduct was not ideal; however, the conduct does not necessarily violate Arizona law. (Not uncommon for a first time DUI)
- NON-DISCIPLINARY ORDER: The Board will require a prescribed number of hours of continuing education that provides the necessary understanding of current developments, skills, procedures or treatment.
- DECREE OF CENSURE: A decree of censure is the lowest level of formal discipline. There are no probationary requirements.
- CIVIL PENALTY: This is similar to a Decree of Censure. The difference is a cosmetology professionals can receive a fine (up to $2000 per violation).
- PROBATION: Probation is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires the cosmetology professionals to do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education). Or alternatively, refrain from doing things (unsupervised care, using alcohol, etc.).
- SUSPENSION: A suspension stops the cosmetology professionals from practicing as a cosmetology professionals for a period of time until the Board lifts the suspension.
- REVOCATION: If the Board revokes a cosmetology professional‘s license the cosmetology professionals will be unable to provide care for a minimum amount of time. After the period the cosmetology professionals will have to reapply for their license after the five year period has ended. If the cosmetology professionals reapplies for licensure the nurse must must demonstrate that the grounds for revocation (substance abuse, mental health problems, criminal convictions, medical issues) has been rectified.
- VOLUNTARY SURRENDER: The cosmetology professionals voluntarily gives up their license. The benefit of a voluntary surrender is that the Board is usually willing to reduce the amount of time until a cosmetology professionals can reapply (between 2 to 3 years).
Arizona State Complaint Attorney
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 an Arizona attorney with Chelle Law today.