New York's recent implementation of regulations meant to protect workers in the state’s nail salons has prompted salon owners to organize, with many engaging in a one day lockout that deprived workers of that day’s wages.
The new rules were issued after a New York Times investigation revealed that many salon workers – who are often paid well below minimum wage – are exposed to hazardous chemicals.
Now the Times is reporting that a number of owners’ groups of formed to protest the government’s actions, including the Chinese Nail Salon Association, which has approximately 350 members.
According to the Times, signs posted on salons that were closed for business accused the government of using the regulations to collect revenue through fines levied against businesses.
Salon owners say they need more time for compliance and that the new regulations are confusing and cumbersome. State officials say they’ve made efforts in multiple languages to help owners understand the rules.
Since the regulations went into effect, a number of salon employees have failed to return to work. Some speculate that they are undocumented and are afraid of government inspections in their workplaces.
Since the Times’ article, salon owners have reported being confronted by customers who demand to know if the people providing them with services are being treated well.
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