Federal Court in New York City Questions Veracity of Nail Salon’s Tax Returns and Allows Salon Workers’ Overtime and Minimum Wage Claims to Proceed to Trial

Nail Salons and other beauty care establishments have become notorious in New York City for their egregious violations of minimum wage and overtime laws. Each day, legions of immigrant women work unspeakably long hours for wages that fall far below the amounts required by the New York Labor Law (NYLL) and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

In 2015, the substandard conditions and wages endured by nail salon workers attracted the attention of the New York State Attorney General’s Office. On May 18, 2015, Governor Cuomo announced a package of legislation and new emergency regulations to protect workers in the nail salon industry. On that same date, the DOS filed emergency regulation DOS-22-15-00010-E, which requires all “appearance enhancement businesses” to purchase wage bonds as security for any unpaid wages. This legislation was signed into law on July 16, 2015, as Chapter 80 of the Laws of 2015. The legislation also authorized the New York State Secretary of State to fine or shut down nail salons who try to operate without the requisite wage coverage.

The New York wage and overtime lawyers at Rapaport Law Firm are fighting for the wage rights of immigrant nail salon workers. Abusive hair salons and other cosmetic businesses continue in their efforts to evade minimum wage and overtime laws. Fortunately, federal judges in Manhattan and Brooklyn have repeatedly brought the full force of federal and state law to bear on abusive nail salons. Recently, in the case, Xiao Dong Fu v. Red Rose Nail Salon Inc., the Unites States District Court in Manhattan rejected a nail salon’s argument that its annual revenues were so low that it was exempt from federal wage protections. In a blistering decision issued on March 13, 2017, United States District Court Judge Katherine Failla held that the nail salon’s tax returns were unreliable and ordered that the case proceed to trial.

Rapaport Law Firm’s wage and hour lawyers are pursuing wage claims on behalf of immigrant workers in New York City’s construction, building services, restaurant, domestic services, and beauty care industries. Recently, our firm filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of hair stylists’ assistants against Jeffrey Stein Salons, an upscale Manhattan hair salon chain. For more than two decades, Rapaport Law Firm has fought for the rights of immigrant and low wage workers. Now, in the face of increasing xenophobia across the nation, Rapaport Law Firm will double down on its commitment to enforcing the wage and employment rights of immigrant workers.

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