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Under New Law, Seedy Nail Salon Owners Can Be Imprisoned

Driely S.

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path to licensure isn't the only thing that New York State is doing to improve the nail salon industry. The New York Times reports that a bill that follows up on emergency reforms that Governor Andrew Cuomo put into motion following the paper's exposé on salons will make running an unlicensed nail salon a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in prison and a maximum $2,500 fine. Previously, owners were only subject to a lesser fine.

"This legislation will quickly expand the tools and resources at our disposal to bring this abuse to an end," Cuomo said in a statement about the new law. "May this also serve as a notice to the employers of all other industries: New York will vigorously uphold the high moral principles of this state to protect all workers."

Lawmakers in Albany reached an agreement on the bill's measures on Wednesday, and it's expected to be passed today. It'll also require that salons maintain insurance to protect against wage fraud, so that employees who have illegally been underpaid will receive their lost income. Currently, the Times reports, it's a common practice that owners caught in such a situation will sell their assets and then claim to be unable to make payments.

Still not sure where to go for an ethical salon? We've made a list—or you could just do it yourself.