An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division’s Long Island District Office has resulted in the recovery of more than $178,000 in back wages and damages for 95 nail salon workers underpaid between 2012 and 2015 at six Nassau and Suffolk County nail salons. In addition, the salons will pay $24,640 in civil monetary penalties as part of their settlement.
The latest investigation is part of the division’s ongoing strategic enforcement initiative to eliminate wage violations and help educate vulnerable workers in the low-wage, nail salon industry about their employment rights. The investigations revealed overtime and record-keeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Nail salon workers cannot afford to be underpaid,” said Irv Miljoner, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Long Island District Office. “The industry employs vulnerable workers less likely to complain about unfair labor practices because of language barriers and fear of losing their jobs.”
Many nail salon workers are not paid overtime. Typically, they are paid a flat rate – in cash – for each day they work, in an attempt to avoid both paying overtime and keeping accurate time records. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports annual average earnings for a manicurist in Nassau and Suffolk counties is $20,670 with an hourly wage of $9.94.
The settlements include the following salons:
The Wage and Hour Division offers publications describing workers’ rights translated into many different languages.