Even I have to admit that last week’s NY Times expose on the horrid working conditions for nail technicians in New York City is 100% responsible for this lightning-fast response from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
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. The new rules come in response to a New York Times investigation of nail salons — first published online last week — that detailed thewidespread exploitation of manicurists, many of whom have illnesses that some scientists and health advocates say are caused by the chemicals with which they work.
“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,” Mr. 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.”
It’s a far more muscular response than I expected from Cuomo, that’s for damn sure. It throws into sharp contrast the whining about the need for government regulations in general over the weekend by Charles Murray, doesn’t it?
Perhaps this would be a good time for Mr. Murray to publicly stand up for the rights of nail salons to treat employees as indentured servants, and to instruct owners to resist these “bad” regulations, hmm?