Hundreds Of Volunteers Help Educate Nail Salon Workers About Their Rights In New York City

Two weeks ago, the New York Times published a stunning report about the working conditions of nail salon workers in New York City. The report informed readers that many manicurists are not only underpaid, but sometimes have to pay to begin working at the salons themselves. Governor Andrew Cuomo has since released an overhaul of the policies operating in these salons. However, politicians aren't the only ones helping to the workers. Today, hundred of volunteers came together to help educate nail salon workers about their rights.

The New York Times report exposed some of the shady practices of many salons open in the city. Perhaps some of the worrisome data comes from the ways in which workers are exploited for profit. On occasion, manicurists just starting have to pay a $100-$200 "training fee." On top of the fee, they're also usually underpaid per the state's classification of them as "tipped" workers.

Today, hundreds turned out at various NYC subway stations and public transportation hubs to educate passersby about the rights of nail salon workers. Volunteers distributed fliers detailing information about the workers' rights, including wages, leave time, and safety measures. In order to be inclusive and reach more people, the fliers were printed in six different languages. Following the distribution, several others headed to salons in 70 different areas of NYC, essentially conducting door to door canvassing. Because of the New York Times piece— and hopeful other pieces to come about other industries—and people dedicated to helping others, we're crazy hopeful about seeing change.