Andrew Cuomo mandates emergency task force to combat brutal nail salon conditions

The New York governor responded swiftly to an NYT exposé highlighting horrific conditions in NYC salons

Published May 11, 2015 1:10PM (EDT)

  (AP/Mike Groll)
(AP/Mike Groll)

A recent New York Times article by Sarah Maslin Nir exposed the horrific conditions that thousands of New York City manicurists face every day from wage theft to health hazards to institutionalized racism. On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded to the article by taking swift action to protect mistreated workers through a dedicated task force.

The New York Times' Maslin Nir reports:

Effective immediately, he said in a statement, a new, multiagency task force will conduct salon-by-salon investigations, institute new rules that salons must follow to protect manicurists from the potentially dangerous chemicals found in nail products, and begin a six-language education campaign to inform them of their rights.

Nail salons that do not comply with orders to pay workers back wages, or are unlicensed, 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," Cuomo said in a statement. "We will not stand idly by as workers are deprived of their hard-earned wages and robbed of their most basic rights."

By Joanna Rothkopf

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