NY Governor Launches Emergency Task Force for Nail Salon Industry

The measures are a reaction to a NY Times series exposing the grueling working conditions in nail salons.

Photo by Flickr user bettyx1138.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to launch a multi-agency emergency task force today that will immediately implement regulations in the nail salon industry to help ensure the health and safety of nail salon laborers. The new measures come after the publication of NY Time’s exposé on the horrific working conditions of nail salon laborers. The two-part series, investigated by writer Sarah Maslin Nir, details a slew of labor violations, including wage theft and exposure to harmful materials.

“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,” Gov. Cuomo said in a press release. “We will not stand idly by as workers are deprived of their hard-earned wages and robbed of their most basic rights.”

The new plans include efforts to recover unpaid wages, the implementation of strict health and safety regulations such as the enforced use of health masks, and compulsory postings about employee rights in multiple languages, displayed where workers can easily access them. Cuomo’s announcement also incorporated penalties for the violation of any of the rules.

“This Task Force will... enforce all of New York’s health and safety regulations, and help ensure that no one – regardless of their citizenship status or what language they speak – is illegally victimized by their employer,” said Gov. Cuomo in the press statement.