nail salon

Nail salons are a great place to get a manicure, pedicure, or massage, as well as other services. However, these businesses are not without their own challenges. Some salons may have problems with safety issues or inadequate ventilation. Others may not pay their workers the minimum wage. Nevertheless, the nail industry can be a lucrative investment.

A coalition of nail workers recently called for safer work conditions. The problem is especially widespread in New York City. There are about 76 percent of nail technicians who make less than the state’s minimum wage.

In response, the de Blasio Administration introduced the Nail Salon Day of Action. On April 7, City employees visited over 1,000 salons, distributing educational materials in multiple languages and educating the owners on their responsibility as employers.

The day of action was part of a multifaceted advocacy effort by the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence and the Department of Small Business Services. These organizations worked with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Department of Consumer Affairs to distribute flyers and provide information about minimum wages and safety precautions. This was a follow-up to a two-part expose on the nail salon industry by journalist Sarah Maslin Nir.

The coalition of nail workers demanded that the nail industry be subject to minimum wage requirements, as well as a standards council to ensure that all salons are following safe practices. As a result, the New York State Legislature passed the Nail Salon Industry Task Force.

The task force is now working to address violations of labor laws and other unsafe working conditions. Additionally, the Task Force has moved to halt wage theft. It has also partnered with the Department of Consumer Affairs to stop the unlawful use of ethyl methacrylate, a potentially harmful chemical found in many salon products.

During the day of action, more than 500 volunteers distributed multilingual flyers about the nail salon industry at subway stations around the city. These materials included tips on safety precautions, minimum wage requirements, and other topics related to workers’ rights.

The coalition of nail workers also requested that the de Blasio Administration pass a minimum wage bill, which would apply to the entire nail industry. While a bill has not been passed yet, the Department of Consumer Affairs plans to implement administrative reforms to ensure the minimum wage is met.

Regardless of the outcome of the legislation, the Day of Action is a reminder that the nail salon industry has an undeserved reputation for sub-standard working conditions. Many of the workers have not had their rights upheld, and the misclassification of workers has denied them basic workplace protections.

Although some nail technicians develop infections from exposure to the client, the risks associated with nail treatments can be reduced. This can lead to physical and mental health benefits. Taking advantage of a regular pedicure and manicure can help keep the skin smooth and soft, and it can also improve blood circulation.