BATON ROUGE — A lawsuit alleging that Louisiana regulators
discriminated against Vietnamese-owned salon establishments has
reached a settlement.
The Associated Press reported
court documents were filed on March 8 to resolve an issue between
salon owners in Lafayette, Prairieville and Gonzales and the
Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology. The case had been scheduled to
go to trial on March 13. Specifics of the settlement were not
The suit alleged that the board had targeted Vietnamese-owned and
operated establishments under racial bias.
The plaintiffs alleged that Vietnamese salons were inspected on a
more-frequent basis than those operated by persons of other races.
The numerous inspections often led to a disproportionate amount of
fines, penalties, and other disciplinary actions for the salons. The
Associated Press report
said the plaintiffs provided statistics stating that Vietnamese-owned
salons make up 9 percent of the salons in the state, yet they paid
out 80 percent of the cosmetology board’s fines between the years
2011 and 2013.
Steven Young, the executive director of the cosmetology board,
claimed that roughly 80 percent of the nail salons in the state were
Examples of the alleged unfair treatment of the salon owners were
provided in the Associated Press article. The report stated that the
employees of one nail salon were essentially detained for a two-hour
period in 2013 while an inspection was conducted. This claim was
denied by the board, which stated that the inspector did not stop
employees from fleeing “out the back door.”
Another instance provided by the plaintiffs claimed that the board
shut down a woman’s salon for three months because of an assumption
that the business was fraudulently transferred because the former and
current owner shared a last name.
Attorneys for the board said that each of the plaintiffs has
admitted “in some way” to the violations alleged against them.