Connecticut Labor Department Inspects 25 Nail Salons, Shuts Down 23 For Wage Violations

New York City isn’t the only town on the eastern seaboard that’s cracking down on poor work conditions at nail salons lately: labor department officials up north in Connecticut say recent inspections at 25 nail salons resulted in closing down 23 of those businesses for a range of wage violations.

The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Wage and Workplace Standards Division recently stopped by unannounced at several nail salons in the state after receiving numerous complaints from people working at those businesses, and citizens who’d read news coverage of the New York Times’ investigation into nail salons and wanted to know what Connecticut would do about it, the Hartford Courant reports.

After swinging by those 25 salons on Aug. 3, the department issued Stop Worker orders to 23 of the businesses inspected. Investigators say that at those that were temporarily shut down, they found that many employees were paid in cash, without any payroll records to trace wages. Workers were often paid below the minimum wage of $9.15 per hour, and they weren’t being paid for overtime, according to Gary Pechie, director of the Wage and Workplace Standards Division.

At one salon, he said women were being paid $40 for a 10-hour work day. Even if tips may have raised those wages higher than the $9.15 minimum, in Connecticut, only restaurants and bars are allowed to pay servers below the minimum and let tips make up the rest.

The department has ordered at least $62,000 in back wages to be paid to more than 50 women, and adds that it could give even more cash back to workers as the investigation continues, NBC Connecticut reports.

“An additional $79,000 in civil penalties was levied and collected for under-reporting payroll and paying employees in cash, and $21,300 for wage and hour violations,” according to the labor department.

State Sweep Of Nail Salons Nets Widespread Labor Violations, At Least $62,000 In Back Pay [Hartford Courant]
23 Connecticut Nail Salons Shut Down Over Wage Violations [NBC News]