Pandemic Strikes Hard at California's Nail Salon Workers and Owners

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 (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images)

Eighty-eight percent of California’s nail salon owners do not have enough customers to meet business expenses and rehire workers, and most salon workers are now taking home less than $400 per week. That’s according to a new study from the UCLA Labor Center and the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, outlining the “tremendous emotional and financial strain” of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nail salon industry. California’s nail salons, which employ roughly 100,000 licensed manicurists, are primarily small businesses staffed principally by women and Vietnamese immigrants and refugees. We’ll talk about the challenges salon workers and owners face in the state and the practices and policy solutions that could help them.

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Lucero Herrera, senior research analyst, UCLA Labor Center

Dung Ngyuyen, organizing manager, California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative

Ivy Nguyen, nail salon worker in Santa Ana

Leann Truong, owner, Leann's Nails in Alameda

Tina Bui, owner, Tina's Nails in San Rafael