We all love getting manicures, but do you ever stop to think about the work conditions that nail salon employees must endure?
A distressing article in the New York Times has uncovered the inhumane conditions that many nail salons inflict upon their manicurists. The expose examined hundreds of nail salons throughout the New York City area and found that many of the employees, who were either Chinese, Korean or Latina immigrants, were forced to work long hours—up to 70 hours per week—for minimal pay.
Many nail salon owners pay their workers, most of whom are female, less than $3 per hour, forcing the women to rely solely on tips. Not only that, the employees must pay upwards of $100 before they are allowed to work at one salon or another. They must go through weeks—or sometimes months—of laborious training before they are allowed to start earning wages.
At night, the women are bussed home to their outer-burrough living quarters, where they share small, bug-infested apartments with up to five other people. And in the morning, they wake up and do it all over again.
Naturally, readers are horrified by the conditions and have vowed to find alternative mani/pedi options. Some promise to start doing their nails by themselves, while others say that from now on, they will only go to high-end spas.
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