Protections For New York Nail Salon Workers Survive Legal Challenge

By Kara Miller

New reforms put in place to protect nail salon workers require nail salon owners to have secured wage bonds as of October 6, 2015. The wage bonds help ensure that workers who successfully sue to recover unpaid wages will be able to collect their monetary awards. Two newly formed groups representing nail salon owners, the Korean American Nail Salon Association of New York and the Chinese Nail Salon Association of East America, filed a lawsuit challenging whether the state could force them to secure wage bonds.  In December 2015, Justice Michael H. Melkonian dismissed the lawsuit in its entirety. In upholding the legality of the wage bond requirement, Justice Melkonian stated that the regulation “was necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety or general welfare of nail salon workers.”  This is a big win for workers that will hopefully deter others from trying to push back against these reforms.

Photo by Viktor Hanacek.

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