Nail salons abusing their workers’ rights would be subject to higher penalties and more government scrutiny under new legislation introduced today by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The new regulations for salons would include wage insurance to make sure employees get paid, requirements for protective equipment like masks, gloves and eye protection and ventilation systems.
Conditions that leave nail salon workers underpaid and working in unsafe conditions were brought to light by a recent New York Times article which detailed often exploitative practices.
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Salons would have to post a bill of rights for workers, translated into multiple languages, and clearly display cease and desist notices if they receive them from the state.
The Governor last week called for a task force to be formed under the state Department of Labor to inspect salons and eventually enforce the new rules, in addition to the emergency rules he put in place last week to protect workers.
Aside from the regulations and enforcement measures, the state will also hold educational events for business owners and for workers.
In the process of addressing this issue, the state is working with a number of workers’ rights and immigrants’ rights organizations as well as the Korean-American Nail Salon Association, which represents many New York City nail salons.
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has also announced that this Thursday will be a ‘Day of Action’ for the nail salon industry, aimed at raising awareness of conditions and educating customers, business owners and workers.