In response to the nail salon investigative report published by the New York Times last week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has ordered emergency measures to protect manicurists in New York City area nail salons. A new multiagency task force will conduct salon-by-salon investigations, enforce new rules to protect manicurists from potentially hazardous chemicals, and launch a multi-lingual education campaign to spread awareness of workers’ rights. Under these new regulations, nail salons that do not comply will be shut down.
“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,” says Cuomo. “We will not stand idly by as workers are deprived of their hard-earned wages and robbed of their most basic rights.” The emergency measures were announced on Sunday and will become permanent in the coming months.. Additionally the Health Department plans to conduct a study of the most effective safety practices. In the meantime, manicurists will be required to wear gloves and masks to reduce the risks of contracting skin conditions and prevent exposure to chemicals. Salons will also be required to be ventilated to lessen the chemical fumes. Based on the Health Department findings, regulations may be adjusted as needed.