ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York authorities say they have ordered 143 nail salons to pay $2 million in unpaid wages and damages to 652 workers.
A state task force established a year ago says Monday it has opened investigations into more than 450 businesses, completing 383 so far.
Following a New York Times expose on underpaid nail salon employees, many of them immigrants, the state has enacted reforms. They include requiring salons to publicly post notices of workers’ rights to legal wages and a safe environment.
As a state license condition, salons are required to get insurance or bonding to cover business liabilities and unpaid wages.
“Many of them are simply paid when customers come in the door, and when there are no customers, they receive nothing,” advocate Kara Miller, who represents 10 salon workers, told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “Coming from other countries where you know the government wasn’t out to help them.”
Authorities say 4,000 salons statewide have secured a bond.
Charlene Obernauer with the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health said it’s a message that should be heard loud and clear, and not just in the nail salon industry.
She said if people think that salons are the only industries getting looked at to think again.
Owners are also required to provide protective equipment, including masks and gloves. Regulations have been proposed for public comment.
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