An investigation by the New York Times has found many nail salon workers are paid at levels lower than a minimum wage and are treated abusively.
The Times interviewed more than 150 nail salon workers and owners in New York in four languages and found an overwhelming majority face these conditions. Advertisements in Asian language papers for nail salon workers offer as little as 10 dollars a day, a pay scale confirmed by several workers.
According to nail salon worker Jing Ren , the management and owners of many nail salons exploit the workers anyway that they can, even charging them a fee for drinking water at work. In her case, she was charged with an expensive $100 “training fee” in which she learned how to work at the salon, as she did so for free for 3 months without pay.
“[As a worker]I would feel petrified, thinking that I’ll be doing this for the rest of my life,” Ren said.
To learn more about the abusive working conditions that these women suffer, an ethnic caste system used by salon owners and the lax enforcement of wage laws, visit the New York Times.