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Nail salons to repay $2 million in unpaid wages

Posted at 12:16 PM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-10 08:00:29-04

One-hundred-forty-three nail salons in New York will pay $2 million in unpaid wages and damages to more than 650 employees across the state.

The New York State Nail Salon Industry Enforcement Task Force handed down that order Monday morning, one year after the task force was created by Governor Andrew Cuomo to crackdown on widespread exploitation and abuse of nail salon workers.

The task force, which is led by the state labor department, has opened investigations into more than 450 nail salons since May 2015, completing more than 380 investigations so far.

It is unclear how many salons, if any in Western New York, are among the 143 directed to pay up.

Albany has also enacted a number of reforms aimed at cleaning up the nail salon industry. Among those changes is a bill of rights, which all salons must post in public. It informs workers of their rights to a legal wage and a safe working environment.

The state has also begun offering license exams in Nepali, Tibetan and Vietnamese in addition to English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Russian.