Potential California Law Would Prohibit Nail and Skincare Booth Rental


Given the popularity of booth rental, the significant impact of last year’s California Supreme Court decision known as Dynamex on the beauty industry proved difficult to manage. When booth rental is no longer a legal option, what can beauty professionals opt for aside from employment or salon ownership?


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Legislation authored by assembly member Lorena Gonzales, D-San Diego, would clarify the Dynamex decision and exempt certain professions. However, as currently amended, the only workers in the beauty profession considered exempt would be: “A worker providing hairstyling or barbering services who has a booth rental permit and is free from direction or control both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact (AB 5).”

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Because nail and skincare services are specifically excluded, workers who provide these services would be prohibited from working in a booth rental arrangement. If enacted, this law would disadvantage more than 220,000 licensed nail and skincare professionals, many of whom operate independently.

Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D., licensed manicurist and Precision Nails owner, an employee-based salon in Carmel, California, opposes the legislation unless amended to include all licensees of the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

“Denying licensed manicurists, estheticians and electrologists the opportunity to rent booths based on their scope of practice is discriminatory and likely unenforceable,” says Schrabeck. “This bill also ignores the fact that cosmetologists are licensed to perform nail and skincare services. How can cosmetologists be considered both booth renters and employees when they could be providing hair, nail and skincare services all in the same day? Laws that affect BBC licensees must apply fairly and equally to all.”

“Circumventing this population doesn’t fix the Dynamex problem,” according to Wendy Cochran, licensed esthetician and founder of the California Aesthetic Alliance, an advocacy organization representing California beauty licensees. “Salon owners will be at risk for labor violations and audits by the state, targeting them for significant financial jeopardy. To avoid this, salon owners will push us out of our rentals, disrupting and closing many small businesses.”

Take action to protect our industry, and contact your state representatives directly. For more information, visit the California Aesthetic Alliance Facebook page.

—by Angelina Lewis

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