New York City Promises To Crack Down On Nail Salon Labor Abuses

After the first-ever state Department of Labor crackdown and the New York Times published an investigative report on work conditions in the nail salon industry based on interviews with hundreds of workers, now politicians are taking action to help these vulnerable workers. Today, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio pledged that the city government will crack down on poor work conditions and pay in the city’s nail salons.

Earlier this week, the governor of New York State announced a multi-agency task force to make sure labor laws are followed. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new regulations that will require nail salon owners to post a bond or take out an insurance policy to cover any unpaid wage claims.

Nail salons are relatively inexpensive and easy to open, and when one encounters legal problems, the owner and their assets often disappear. The state also promises stricter regulations on work conditions for manicurists, who spend their days exposed to harsh chemicals and who often suffer health effects.

While the state regulates labor conditions and pay, the city at least has the opportunity to investigate employment agencies that send people to work in nail salons, and can also perform outreach to make sure that nail salon workers know what their rights are.

Next Thursday, city representatives and volunteers will visit nail salons all over New York City, where nail salons are plentiful and the competition is fierce, forcing prices and wages down. The multilingual information campaign will ensure that workers understand their rights when it comes to wages and work conditions.

New York City pledges crackdown on nail salons that exploit workers [Reuters]

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