Employers Shouldn’t Bite Nails Over NY Wage and Hour Law


Jeffrey H. Ruzal, a Senior Counsel in the Labor and Employment practice, in the firm’s New York office, authored an article in Law360 titled “Employers Shouldn’t Bite Nails Over NY Wage and Hour Law.” (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Let us not, however, forget the still very relevant “old news” concerning the, at best, questionable wage and hour practices of certain employers in New York City’s nail salon industry, which was uncovered by New York Times reporter Sarah Maslin Nir in a two-part expose in May.

Shortly following Maslin Nir’s report, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the implementation of a multiagency enforcement task force and proposed regulations to expand the state’s enforcement authority. In addition to implementing new health and safety regulations, the task force will investigate wage violations, seek to recover unpaid wages and issue corresponding fines. The new regulations, if adopted, will contain a surety requirement mandating that every nail salon secure a bond or an insurance policy to cover employee claims for unpaid wages in order to maintain their licensing. Noncompliance with an order to pay back wages may result in a requirement to post a supplementary bond that covers the unpaid wages and two years’ worth of future wages. The task force will also use measures such as license revocation, fines and even business shutdowns in its efforts to enforce compliance. These proposed regulations seem drastic; however, the New York Department of Labor first began investigating the nail salon industry a year ago, and after a 29-salon probe found 116 violations of state labor law.