By Ron Kim
Nail salon owners in New York City have been under a microscope for the last few days. Many of these small business owners are hard-working immigrants who abide by the law, treat their employees fairly and contribute to the New York City economy.
They feel angry and frustrated at the way the New York Times report and the Governor have used a broad brush to paint the entire industry in a negative light. They want to fight back and even protest.
Following several meetings with my office, these business owners have decided that they should be leading the discussion on immediate actions against the workplace abuse in nail salons.
These are the proposed solutions:
1) Owners will fully collaborate with all government agencies to educate nail salon owners and employees on fair labor practices and worker rights.
2) Owners will work with policymakers in addressing deeper problems in the industry such as the often exploited immigrant workforce and mismatch between cost and price point of nail products.
3) Owners will launch the Healthy Nail Salon Network to promote inter-community growth in the industry.
In order to advance some of these collaborative solutions, I will be working closely with the Governor’s Task Force on Nail Salons to introduce new legislation that will help eliminate the unscrupulous practices at nail salons and create opportunities for workers to get training, certification and job placement in the market.
Assemblyman Ron Kim