March 22, 2013 By Christian Murray
A Sunnyside nail salon has entered into an agreement with the New York State Attorney General’s office after being found to be ripping off one of its workers.
Bliss Nail Salon, located at 45-05 Queens Blvd, has agreed to pay $5,000 to a manicurist who was told that she would have to pay a deposit to work there and that, because she was a “trainee,” was not entitled to minimum wage and overtime.
Bliss Nail Salon’s manicurist, a Nepali immigrant who spoke limited English, was required to work as a “trainee” for three months, from March through May of 2012, during which time she was initially given only small amounts of money for food and then, about half way through her three months at the salon, was paid $30 for what was often a 10-hour work day.
“All New York businesses must pay legally-required wages to employees and respect their workers’ basic rights,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.
“The state grants a license to salon owners in order for them to operate and they, like all business owners, must take the appropriate steps to follow our state’s labor laws.”
The owner of Bliss Nail Salon was not available for comment. He is in Vietnam and won’t be returning to New York until after Easter, according to a worker.
@86Mets: Even interns have to be paid a minimum wage in most cases. An intern sued a company in California a couple of years ago. Turns out you can only not pay an intern if their work doesn’t materially benefit a company. So, if interns doing all the filing for a business, the business benefits by not having to someone else (more money + benefits) to do it full time. Or something like that.
There are other better nail salons in Sunnyside where they will treat you better. Don’t bother with this one. They think they are doing you a favor when you go in there to get your nails done.
that is the worst nail salon. I had big problems in there. They dont treat the customers very well, and now you see they dont treat their workers very well either. someone slapped one of the workers, and she locked the person in the store with the gates down, waiting for cops. she was crying to me, the person who used to go all the time till she treated me like a piece of crap. Good for them. Hope they learned a lesson..
If you make below a specific amount per year, you do not need to file a federal income tax return. This worker almost certainly made below the minimum (which in 2012 was $9,750 for a single person under 65).
@Webley- When it comes to the legal wage, it doesn’t matter whether a worker is documented or undocumented. The laws still apply. The $5,000 will definitely be taxed.
This is disgusting. They should have shut down the nail salon for exploitation of employees. I’ve never gone there an never will.
Lots of businesses do this. They just call the people they get to work for next to nothing, “interns.”
Good I’m glad someone showed them. They are the worst nail salon! They ripped my skin on my eyebrows once and when I came back the next day to show them they got all defensive saying that I probably got a sunburn cuz they got scared I was gonna sue them and then told me the owner no longer allows me in the salon. I’m glad the worker stepped up I should’ve sued them when I had the chance.
Was the worker legal? Did she file any tax return?
I wonder kind of worker rights are being exploited at the Sunny Spa on 40th street and queens blvd. this place brings all kinds of creepy people into the neighborhood.
Slavery was outlawed years ago. But hey, according to Bloomberg, low wages are good for business–as long as you are the owner and not the wage slave.
They should also send the owner to prison.
Glad to hear that the worker is being compensated! Also, to whoever explained her employment rights to her and helped file a complaint, good work.