By Tribuna Staff
In response to several complaints from nail salon employees and recent news articles about questionable health and employment practices at nail salons, the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Wage and Workplace Standards Division recently investigated 25 nail salons across the state, resulting in the issuance of Stop Work orders and the shutdown of 23 salons for wage violations.
According to State Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer, as a result of these investigations, the wage division recovered more than $47,350 in owed wages for the employees – primarily for required minimum wage payments – and it expects to collect additional money for workers. An additional $79,000 in civil penalties was levied and collected for under-reporting payroll and paying employees in cash, as well as $21,300 for wage and hour violations.
Unannounced visits to the salons on August 3, 2015 resulted in Stop Work orders being placed on the following establishments:
- Hartford: La Nails, American Nails, Modern Nails, Pink Nails, Touch Nails
- New Haven: Magic Nail and Spa, Fashion Nail and Spa, Outo Nails
- Stamford: Fiji Nail Salon, Cozy Nail Salon, Classic Nails, Lux Nails, Ace Nails
- Branford: Oasis Nails, Pretty Nail and Spa, Sera Nail Salon, Town Nails, Simply Nails
- Westport/Darien/Southport: Posh Nail and Spa LLC (3 locations), Queen Nail and Spa, Finger Nails
According to Gary Pechie, director of the Wage and Workplace Standards Division, labor agents and investigators determined that workers were being paid in cash with no payroll records, wages were below the minimum wage of $9.15 per hour and no overtime payment was being provided. Additionally, several salons did not have proper worker’s compensation coverage. All 23 salons are now in compliance with state workplace laws and have been allowed to resume operations.
Pechie noted that subsequent to the enforcement activity, the Labor Department had been contacted by several employer groups involved with salon services. As a result, in addition to ongoing investigations of Connecticut salons, the division will also provide information and educational materials to these employers about state laws.
“The wage division places a high priority on outreach and education and we urge employers with questions about wage laws to contact the unit at 860-263-6790 or visit the agency website at www.ct.gov/dol and click on ‘wage and workplace standards’ for guidelines,” Pechie said, adding that employees who felt they were not being paid the appropriate amount, or were not paid at all, should download a complaint form located on the unit website.