Last spring, with a predictable amount of fanfare, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law protecting the wages and wellbeing of the state’s thousands of nail salon industry workers. Along with the law, the governor announced the creation of a special task force to safeguard workers in a variety of industries across the state. The new task force, comprising 10 state agencies and 700 investigators, is charged with preventing common workplace abuses such as wage theft, human trafficking, dangerous work conditions and excessive (re: uncompensated) overtime.
This was welcome legislation, as exploited workers most often are immigrants, already dealing with the “promise and peril” of living in a strange new city, said the governor during a speaking engagement at a New York City-area community college. The Governor’s task force grew out of legislation protecting nail-salon workers, and included an
employee “bill of rights” that must be posted at all salons.