FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The Department of Labor issued $100,000 in fines and recovered $47,000 in owed wages at nail salons around the state, including locations in Stamford, Westport, Darien and Southport.
The department's Wage and Workplace Standards Division investigated 25 nail salons and shut down 23 for wage violations in response to several complaints from nail salon employees and recent news articles about questionable health and employment practices. The division recovered more than $47,350 in owed wages for employees, primarily for required minimum wage payments, according to Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer. The division expects to collect additional money for workers.
In addition, $79,000 in civil penalties was levied and collected for under-reporting payroll and paying employees in cash, as well as $21,300 for wage and hour violations, according to Palmer.
Unannounced visits to salons on Aug. 3 resulted in stop work orders being placed on the following establishments:
- Stamford: Fiji Nail Salon, Cozy Nail Salon, Classic Nails, Lux Nails, Ace Nails
- Westport/Darien/Southport: Posh Nail and Spa LLC (3 locations), Queen Nail and Spa, Finger Nails
- Hartford: La Nails, American Nails, Modern Nails, Pink Nails, Touch Nails
- New Haven: Magic Nail and Spa, Fashion Nail and Spa, Outo Nails
- Branford: Oasis Nails, Pretty Nail and Spa, Sera Nail Salon, Town Nails, Simply Nails
Investigators determined that workers were being paid in cash with no payroll records, wages were below the minimum wage of $9.15 an hour and no overtime payment was being provided, according to Gary Pechie, director of the Wage and Workplace Standards Division. Additionally, several salons did not have proper worker's compensation coverage, according to Pechie.
All 23 salons are now in compliance and have been allowed to resume operations.
Pechie said that prior to the enforcement activity, the Labor Department had been contacted by several employer groups involved with salon services. As a result, in addition to ongoing investigations of salons in Connecticut, the division will also provide information and educational materials to these employers about state laws.
“The wage division places a high priority on outreach and education and we urge employers with questions about wage laws to contact the unit at (860) 263-6790 or visit the agency website at www.ct.gov/dol and click on ‘wage and workplace standards’ for guidelines,” Pechie said.
Pechie added that employees who feel that they are not being paid the appropriate amount, or were not paid at all, should download the complaint form located on the unit website.
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