May 18, 2015
By Neal Tepel
NEW YORK, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that New York City is addressing labor and health issues at nail salons.
Since New York State licenses salons, the City has limited jurisdiction over labor and wage laws. However, the Big Apple is moving ahead with a variety of actions within its powers to address disturbing conditions in nail salons uncovered by a recent New York Times investigation. The city's initiative will include legal investigations led by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
"Every New Yorker must be protected from predatory workplace practices that threaten their health and exploit their labor," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "We will use all available powers to shield nail salon workers from deplorable conditions, empower them with awareness of their rights, and offer every other support we can to ensure the safety and dignity of our hardworking fellow New Yorkers."
The City's plan will include a proactive approach by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The DCA's Legal Department is now investigating salons and testing products. The DCA's is reviewing payroll documents to ensure all employees are paid the minimum wage. A letter has been distributed to 3,000 nail salons informing them of their responsibilities under New York's Paid Sick Leave Law.
"We cannot stand by while the most vulnerable workers among us are exposed to toxic chemicals and equally toxic conditions of employment," said DCA Commissioner Julie Menin. "We will harness all the means at our disposal to make sure that salon workers and customers are protected."