Nails Salons and New York Surety Bonds
The landscape is changing for New York Surety Bonds as Governor Cuomo set October 6, 2015 as the date for all NY nail salon owners to obtain wage bonds to ensure owners are paying their employees for the services they provide. Additionally, as an added safety measure, nail salon owners must also provide their employees with certain protective equipment to help prevent chemical-related exposures and diseases.
This all came about when the New York State Labor Department discovered 116 wage payment violations in 29 salons after conducting a statewide investigation last year. Last May, the New York Times released a series detailing their findings concerning the unethical practices of some nail salon owners, including the severe underpayment of employees.
NY demands greater safety measures, cracks down on wage slaves
As a result, New York legislators repealed Section 160.9 of Title 19 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) and added a new Section 160.9 that mandates bonding and/or liability insurance, requiring nail salon owners to maintain proof of financial security for accident and professional liability in the amounts of at least $25,000 per individual occurrence and $75,000 in the aggregate. The bond requirement varies, regarding payment of employee wages, according to the number of full time individuals who provide nail specialty services. Nail salon owners were allowed to keep their previous bond or insurance policy up until June 30, 2015.
Section 160.11 of Title 19 of the NYCRR states that all nail salon owners are required to provide employees with properly fitted N-95 or N-100 respirators to reduce inhalation of dust, provide protective gloves in enough numbers to allow employees to wear a new pair of gloves for each customer served, and sufficient eye protection to prevent splashes of potentially dangerous chemicals from causing significant harm to their eyes.
In late May, Governor Cuomo unveiled a workers’ bill of rights for nail salon employees that included minimum wage information, a hotline contact number for questions and complaints, and restrictions of employer ability to take away wages, with legislators posting requirements and notices of violations.
In addition, to avoid being fined, nail shop owners should make sure they have adequate New York Surety Bonds and that they are in full compliance with the comprehensive emergency regulations that have been implemented since the issues surrounding New York’s nail salon businesses were revealed last May.