Vietnamese attorney Connie Trieu sounds off at Louisiana Cosmetology Board meeting regarding job losses resulting from its continued tough stand on California reciprocity.

Vietnamese attorney Connie Trieu and family.

At the November 6, 2017 meeting of the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology (LSBC), Vietnamese attorney Connie Trieu sounded off regarding the LSBC’s often-inflexible position on California reciprocity and the adverse impact that position has on the Louisiana job market as she indicates many manicurists simply relocate to California where they find the regulatory environment less burdensome:

Trieu laments job losses to California resulting from Louisiana’s tough stand entailing California reciprocity.


Trieu amplifies a major concern expressed to Sound Off Louisiana from the time we first began covering the Cosmetology Board in early 2015.  In fact, at that time, many members of the Vietnamese community expressed concerns about the April, 2015 meeting wherein a line item was on the agenda for “California reciprocity.”  The following segment of the April 13, 2015 LSBC meeting demonstrates the resolve of LSBC’s Executive Director, Steve Young, to suspend Louisiana’s reciprocity with California:


LSBC Executive Director Young openly ponders suspending reciprocity with California due to their authorities indicating they would be “removing their seals from their certifications.”


As evidenced by the preceding clip, several members and Young indicate, regarding California licensing authorities, that, “you cannot get a live person on the phone.”  That statement, especially when combined with the statement that California licensing authorities were taking the utterly bizarre measure of “removing their seals from their certification documents,” prompted Sound Off Louisiana to contact the California authorities.  We had no difficulty whatsoever getting them on the phone.  Furthermore, we were told that Young’s statement was flatly false and that they’d experienced a temporary machine failure but that a new color-printed seal was being incorporated into their documents.

In light of what we were told by California licensing authorities, we made a public records request of the LSBC for whatever documentation Young referenced in the previous video clip indicating California was removing its seal. What we got was  this email which actually confirmed what California licensing authorities said to us over the phone.  One thing is abundantly clear from this sequence of events:  Trieu’s concerns regarding Louisiana’s steadfast opposition (for whatever reason) to California reciprocity are well founded; furthermore, it is abundantly apparent that Young sought to exploit the “temporary machine failure” to attempt to suspend Louisiana’s California licensing reciprocity!

Trieu also expressed concerns entailing the “obvious language barrier.”  According to former Congressman Joseph Cao, approximately 90% of Louisiana’s 2,200 nail salons are Vietnamese-owned.  Nevertheless, even as WBRZ’s (Channel 2 in Baton Rouge) news director, Lee Polowczuk, continued to press LSBC Executive Director Steve Young entailing hiring a Vietnamese translator to facilitate these licensees’ interactions with the LSBC, as evidenced by the following video clip, Young flatly indicated to Polowczuk that he is concerned with a Vietnamese translator for hearings only:

 LSBC Executive Director Young clearly indicates his only concern is having a Vietnamese translator for hearings and not everyday interaction with the Vietnamese community.


The LSBC resolved the California reciprocity application applicable for Trieu’s client by agreeing to permit her to take the licensing test and, upon passage, indicating a willingness to issue her a cosmetology license.


In coming days, we’ll be updating everyone on the LSBC’s latest actions entailing hair braiding.  We believe you’ll find that segment of keen interest entailing job opportunities in Louisiana vs. Mississippi.



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