New York Nail Salons Ordered to Pay $2 Million in Back Pay and Damages to Employees

The Great Nail Reckoning continues: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is reportedly set to announce Monday that nail salons who illegally denied their workers overtime or paid them less than the minimum wage have been ordered to pay out a total of $2 million.

Nail salons already paid $1.1 million in back wages earlier this year, as the state continues to probe the nail industry following a bombshell New York Times investigation that found widespread underpayment and a pretty loose grasp of state labor laws.


Now, the New York Daily News reports, Cuomo is set to announce that the state’s Nail Salon Industry Enforcement Task Force has ordered a total of 143 salons to repay 652 workers, for a sum of $2 million in all.

The News reports that the task force has completed investigations into 383 nail salons to date; the ones that were fined were either paying a weekly rate that worked out to “well below” minimum wage, per the paper, or were failing to pay entry-level workers at all for their first few weeks on the job as trainees. One owner also deducted the cost of gloves and masks from employees’ paychecks, which are mandatory safety items.

New York Times reporter Sarah Maslin Nir, who conducted the investigation that led to the state taking action, has been the subject of protests in front of her office and op-eds masquerading as journalistic rebuttals from people who own nail salons.

A nail salon in New York City. Photo via Getty

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About the author

Anna Merlan

Anna Merlan was a Senior Reporter at G/O Media until September 2019. She's the author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power.

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