Investigation Into Nail Salon Employers Enacted By Governor Cuomo After That 'NYT' Expose On Underpaid Workers
After a series of interviews conducted by The New York Times revealed that manicurists in New York are being vastly underpaid and severely abused, legislative action is already being taken to remedy the problems. New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo ordered emergency measures against salon employers to be effective immediately, assuring those working under such conditions in New York salons be taken care of. An investigation will take place enforcing mandatory regulations protecting manicurists from dangerous chemicals and informing nail artists of their rights.
Salons that fail to pay workers their withheld wages, comply with the new rules, or prove to be unlicensed will be shut down. Cuomo stated Sunday:
“New York State has a long history of confronting wage theft and unfair labor practices head on, and today, with the formation of this new Enforcement Task Force, we are aggressively following in that tradition. We will not stand idly by as workers are deprived of their hard-earned wages and robbed of their most basic rights.”
Though these measures are still under development, New York is taking the necessary steps towards putting to rest an unfortunate reality of salon culture: exploiting nail artists that, under such circumstances, literally slave over our hands and feet. Businesses are required to publicly post the rights of employees — which seems to be even more so a reminder for employers than employees — in languages like Korean, Chinese and Spanish explicitly stating that working without pay is illegal.
A major issue in these unfortunate situations of poor wage and abuse, is that salon workers are oftentimes illegal immigrants afraid to report their employers to authorities fearing trouble for themselves. It has been reported that said agencies involved in these investigations will not inquire about an employees immigration status.
While we pay $10 on average for a french mani, those who tend to our cuticles pay a much higher price. Now, thanks to The New York Times and Governor Cuomo, these horrific conditions have surfaced and will (hopefully) be put to rest very soon.
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