Last Updated: December 21, 2022. Report error / Make suggestion

Initial Application Requirements

  • Who/What Agency governs or oversees the profession?
    • Department of Licensing
  • What are the background check requirements?
    • DOL requires this form to be filled out prior to issuing of license
    • DOL also requires an SSN when applying for purposes of child support enforcement
    • A person is not disqualified from receiving their license based solely on a prior felony conviction. However, the licensing agency may still consider any prior conviction of a crime when reviewing applications.
  • Are there any convictions that will automatically disqualify me?
    • You can be denied employment or licensing if their prior conviction of a felony directly relates to the position of employment sought or the specific trade AND the time lapsed is less than 10 years.
  • Do Certificates of Restoration of Opportunity (CROPs) apply to the position?
    • Yes. If you are a qualified applicant with a CROP, you may not be disqualified solely based on criminal history if you meet all other statutory/regulatory requirements.

License Suspension/Revocation

  • Why might my license be suspended or terminated?
    • Your license may be suspended or terminated based on a finding of unprofessional conduct.  This may include the following:
      • Commission of any act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption relating to the practice of the profession
      • Misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact in obtaining/renewing a license
      • False, deceptive, or misleading advertising
      • Incompetence, negligence, or malpractice that results in harm or damage to another or creates an unreasonable risk thereof
      • Suspension, revocation, or restriction of a license to engage in any nosiness or profession
      • Failure to cooperate with the disciplinary authority in the court of an investigation, audit, or inspection
      • Failure to comply with an order issued by the disciplinary authority
      • Aiding or abetting an unlicensed person to practice or operate a business or profession when a license is required
      • Failure to adequately supervise or oversee auxiliary staff
      • Conviction of any gross misdemeanor or felony relating to the practice of the person’s profession or operation of the person’s business
      • Engaging in unlicensed practice
    • Additionally, your license may be suspended or terminated for any of the following reasons:
      • Any violation of the Unfair Business Practices/Consumer Protection Act.
      • Engaging in any cosmetology practice without obtaining and maintaining a license in good standing.
      • Failing to provide a safe, sanitary and good moral environment for students in a school or the public.
      • Failing to display your license.
      • Failing to comply with a support order
        • Failure to comply with a support order will lead to an immediate suspension of your license which shall remain in effect until you are back in compliance with the order.
  • How does the DOL learn of these grounds?             
    • Complaints of unprofessional conduct can be submitted via DOL form.
  • How do I ask for a hearing?
    • You must file a request for a hearing with the DOL within 20 days after being served a statement of charges or statement of intent to deny you a license. Failure to request a hearing is considered a default and the DOL may then enter a decision on the facts available. RCW 18.235.050
      • If you request a hearing, the disciplinary authority will set a hearing no earlier than 30 days after the service of charge(s). A hearing may be held sooner than this only if the disciplinary authority has issued a summary suspension or summary restriction.
        • A summary suspension or restriction occurs due to a temporary and emergency ruling pending a full hearing addressing the allegations. This is often made when there is a finding that suspension is necessary to protect the public’s health and safety.

Hearing Process

  • When will the hearing be and who will oversee it?
    • The Administrative Procedures Act, RCW 34.05, governs all hearings including denial of licensure, unprofessional conduct, and inability to practice.
    • Once you request a hearing, the DOL will set a hearing to be held within 90 days of the receipt of your request.
      • The DOL must give you at least 7 days advance notice.
    • The hearing will be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) from the Office of Administrative Hearings
  • The process for hearing, what to expect, and what to prepare can be found by following the link below:
  • What do I have to prove at the hearing to succeed?
    • You will have the burden of proving that it is more likely than not that you are either a.) qualified under DOL rules and regulations, b.) have not committed unprofessional conduct, or c.) have not committed unethical and deficient practices
  • Is there an appeals process if I don’t agree with the final order?  If so, what does that look like?
  • Yes. The process is outlined by the Administrative Procedures Act RCW 34.05
    • First, you may file a petition for reconsideration of a final order. This can be done within 10 days of the service of the final order.
      • This is an administrative review of the previous ruling.  The hearing officer may decide to grant your petition, deny your petition, modify the previous order, or set the matter for a new hearing.
    • You can also petition the superior court for review. This must be done within 30 days of notice of the final order.
      • The petition must be filed with the Superior Court for either a.) Thurston County, or b.) the county where you live.  You must also pay a $250 filing fee.
      • You are not required to petition for reconsideration before seeking review in court.
        • However, if you do file a petition for reconsideration first, then the 30 day time limit for filing with the court does not begin to run until after the petition for reconsideration is resolved.
      • You cannot seek judicial review until you have exhausted all administrative remedies unless you fall into one of three exceptions. RCW 34.05.534.
      • When reviewing your case, the Court can only consider the evidence admitted and facts established during the first administrative hearing.
      • You can request that the Court stay your suspension while the judicial review is pending, but the Court will only grant a stay if it finds that 1.) you are likely to win your appeal, 2.) you will be irreparably harmed without a stay, 3.) the stay will not cause harm to the other party, and 4.) there is not a serious threat to public health or safety.
    • If you still disagree with the decision following review by the Superior Court, you can appeal to the Court of Appeals.
  • What is the range of sanctions?
    • A finding of unprofessional conduct under can result in the following:
      • Denial of a license or renewal;
      • Revocation or suspension of your license;
      • A fine of not more than five hundred dollars per violation;
      • Issuance of a reprimand or letter of censure;
      • Probation for a fixed period of time;
      • Restriction of your authorized scope of practice;
      • Requiring you to make restitution or a refund as determined by the director to any individual injured by the violation; or
      • Requiring you to obtain additional training or instruction.
        • Prior to determining the sanction for unprofessional conduct, the DOL must first consider what sanctions are necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare. Only after that may the DOL include sanctions designed to rehabilitate you.
    • A finding of unfair business practices can result in a civil lawsuit where you may be liable for treble damages, or three times the amount of actual damages suffered by the person filing the complaint.  You could also face a permanent or temporary stop to your business.
  • Post hearing, what are the options for reinstatement?
    • After having a license suspended or revoked, you may petition the DOL for reinstatement after an amount of time and under specific conditions that are included within the original order suspending or revoking the license. RCW 18.235.100.

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