LONG ISLAND, N.Y. – 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:
- Nails & Relaxation Spa 1 in Copiague will pay 19 employees $31,365 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. The salon will also pay $5,544 in civil monetary penalties.
- M B Relaxation Spa in Massapequa will pay 13 employees $17,986 in back wages. The salon will also pay an additional $4,004 in civil monetary penalties.
- Nails & Relaxation Spa III in Bellmore will pay 27 employees $14,912 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. The salon will also pay an additional $8,316 in civil monetary penalties.
- Nails & Relaxation IV in Ronkonkoma will pay 13 employees $21,532.
- Nails & Relaxation V in Farmingville will pay six employees $9,045 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. The salon will also pay $1,848 in civil monetary penalties.
- Aegean Spa & Nails in West Babylon will pay 17 employees $14,384 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. The salon will also pay $4,928 in civil monetary penalties.
The Wage and Hour Division offers publications describing workers’ rights translated into many different languages, including Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Haitian, Russian, Hmong, Tagalog, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Urdu, Hindi, Bahasa Indonesian, Somali, Samoan and Punjabi.
For more information about the FLSA, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Long Island District Office at 516-338-1890. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.