Fashion Law

Nice Nails May Cost You Your Health

A new beauty patrol hits New York.

This blog has covered many unpaid intern lawsuit cases but there are even more possible employment law cases involving less profiting victims: manicurists. Manicurists, who are largely non-native English speakers and even in the United States illegaly, are victims of widespread wage theft and poor working conditions.

Unpaid wages and health hazards at nail salons across NY state have prompted a crackdown by Governor Cuomo, to prevent unlawful practices and unsafe working conditions in the nail salon industry.

A New York Times study printed last week, revealed that many NY nail salons foster unsafe working conditions as well as unhygienic customer practices. The two-part piece found that thousands of immigrant nail salon workers were paid as low as $1.50 an hour for 60-hour work weeks.

Governor Cuomo’s immediate actions include:

  • Creation of a multi-agency Enforcement Task Force to tackle abuse in the nail salon industry. This task force will enforce:
  • Implementation of new health and safety regulations for nail salon employees;
  • New workplace regulations that require the use of personal protective equipment, including gloves and face masks where warranted;
  • License revocation for any salon out of compliance with state law;
  • New regulations requiring every nail salon to secure either a bond or expanded insurance policy to cover claims for unpaid wages as part of its licensure;
  • Required notice postings that are visible to all employees and in multiple languages that describe the employees’ right to full, legal wages and a safe working environment;
  • Shut down of unlicensed businesses; and
  • Education and outreach actions that will inform workers of their rights. This includes having salons post worker’s rights and resources in multiple languages (a minimum of five languages).


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