Tag: workers

Probeauty (PBA) Would Rather Buy Hair Shows Than To Do What Is Right For The Industry!

Jotovi Designs Inc

The women begin to arrive just before 8 a.m., every day and without fail, until there are thickets of young Asian and Hispanic women on nearly every street corner along the main roads of Flushing, Queens.

As if on cue, cavalcades of battered Ford Econoline vans grumble to the curbs, and the women jump in. It is the start of another workday for legions of New York City’s manicurists, who are hurtled to nail salons across three states. They will not return until late at night, after working 10- to 12-hour shifts, hunched over fingers and toes.

On a morning last May, Jing Ren, a 20-year-old who had recently arrived from China, stood among them for the first time, headed to a job at a salon in a Long Island strip mall. Her hair neat and glasses perpetually askew, she clutched her lunch and a packet of nail tools that manicurists must bring from job to job.

Tucked in her pocket was $100 in carefully folded bills for another expense: the fee the salon owner charges each new employee for her job. The deal was the same as it is for beginning manicurists in almost any salon in the New York area. She would work for no wages, subsisting on meager tips, until her boss decided she was skillful enough to merit a wage.

It would take nearly three months before her boss paid her. Thirty dollars a day.

Once an indulgence reserved for special occasions, manicures have become a grooming staple for women across the economic spectrum. There are now more than 17,000 nail salons in the United States, according to census data. The number of salons in New York City alone has more than tripled over a decade and a half to nearly 2,000 in 2012.

Real Hair Truth.com

But largely overlooked is the rampant exploitation of those who toil in the industry. The New York Times interviewed more than 150 nail salon workers and owners, in four languages, and found that a vast majority of workers are paid below minimum wage; sometimes they are not even paid. Workers endure all manner of humiliation, including having their tips docked as punishment for minor transgressions, constant video monitoring by owners, even physical abuse. Employers are rarely punished for labor and other violations.

Asian-language newspapers are rife with classified ads listing manicurist jobs paying so little the daily wage can at first glance appear to be a typo. Ads in Chinese in both Sing Tao Daily and World Journal for NYC Nail Spa, a second-story salon on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, advertised a starting wage of $10 a day. The rate was confirmed by several workers.

Lawsuits filed in New York courts allege a long list of abuses: the salon in East Northport, N.Y., where workers said they were paid just $1.50 an hour during a 66-hour workweek; the Harlem salon that manicurists said charged them for drinking the water, yet on slow days paid them nothing at all; the minichain of Long Island salons whose workers said they were not only underpaid but also kicked as they sat on pedicure stools, and verbally abused.

Last year, the New York State Labor Department, in conjunction with several other agencies, conducted its first nail salon sweep ever — about a month after The Times sent officials there an inquiry regarding their enforcement record with the industry. Investigators inspected 29 salons and found 116 wage violations.

Among the more than 100 workers interviewed by The Times, only about a quarter said they were paid an amount that was the equivalent of New York State’s minimum hourly wage. All but three workers, however, had wages withheld in other ways that would be considered illegal, such as never getting overtime.

The juxtapositions in nail salon workers’ lives can be jarring. Many spend their days holding hands with women of unimaginable affluence, at salons on Madison Avenue and in Greenwich, Conn. Away from the manicure tables they crash in flophouses packed with bunk beds, or in fetid apartments shared by as many as a dozen strangers.

Ms. Ren worked at Bee Nails, a chandelier-spangled salon in Hicksville, N.Y., where leather pedicure chairs are equipped with iPads on articulated arms so patrons can scroll the screens without smudging their manicures. They rarely spoke more than a few words to Ms. Ren, who, like most manicurists, wore a fake name chosen by a supervisor on a tag pinned to her chest. She was “Sherry.” She worked in silence, sloughing off calluses from customers’ feet or clipping dead skin from around their fingernail beds.

At night she returned to sleep jammed in a one-bedroom apartment in Flushing with her cousin, her cousin’s father and three strangers. Beds crowded the living room, each cordoned off by shower curtains hung from the ceiling. When lights flicked on in the kitchen, cockroaches skittered across the counter-tops.

Almost all of the workers interviewed by The Times, like Ms. Ren, had limited English; many are in the country illegally. The combination leaves them vulnerable.

Some workers suffer more acutely. Nail salons are governed by their own rituals and mores, a hidden world behind the glass exteriors and cute corner shops. In it, a rigid racial and ethnic caste system reigns in modern-day New York City, dictating not only pay but also how workers are treated.

Korean workers routinely earn twice as much as their peers, valued above others by the Korean owners who dominate the industry and who are often shockingly plain-spoken in their disparagement of workers of other backgrounds. Chinese workers occupy the next rung in the hierarchy; Hispanics and other non-Asians are at the bottom.

The typical cost of a manicure in the city helps explain the abysmal pay. A survey of more than 105 Manhattan salons by The Times found an average price of about $10.50. The countrywide average is almost double that, according to a 2014 survey by Nails Magazine, an industry publication.

With fees so low, someone must inevitably pay the price.

“You can be assured, if you go to a place with rock-bottom prices, that chances are the workers’ wages are being stolen,” said Nicole Hallett, a lecturer at Yale Law School who has worked on wage theft cases in salons. “The costs are borne by the low-wage workers who are doing your nails.”

Until more people realize that a $10.50 manicure or a $6.00 tee shirt cannot be the means to earn a living wage for its producer (just do the math)….I doubt this exploitation will end.

In interviews, some owners readily acknowledged how little they paid their workers. Ms. Ren’s boss, Lian Sheng Sun, who goes by Howard, at first denied doing anything wrong, but then said it was just how business was done. “Salons have different ways of conducting their business,” he said. “We run our business our own way to keep our small business surviving.”

Many owners said they were helping new immigrants by giving them jobs.

“I want to change the first generation coming here and getting disgraced, and getting humiliated,” said Roger Liu, 28, an immigrant from China, seated inside the salon he owned, Relaxing Town Nails and Spa in Huntington Station, N.Y. As he spoke last summer, an employee, a woman in her 50s, paced the salon, studying a scrap of paper scribbled with the steps of a pedicure, chanting them to herself quietly in Chinese.

It was her first week working in a salon, she said. Mr. Liu was not paying her.

More to come Next week on This Story!

GIB LLC, aka Brazilian Blowout Slapped on the hands by the Feds!

 

Here is the settlement!!!!!  Of course in my beauty industry you wont see this in a trade magazine, or posted by the any so-called industry website! Because it’s all about money. Advertising dollars are what sustain beauty industry publications, and independently owned websites. Behindthechair.com is owned by Loreal, and Hairbrained.me is an independently owned website. Advertising dollars are what sustain these entity’s. Modern Salon is owned by Vance Publishing Corp, and it goes on and on. Why would they write anything negative or truthful about the industry when they can potentially get the money from a manufacturer to have them buy future advertisement in their magazines or websites. It’s not about protecting you as a professional or informing you in a neutral way. It’s all about the coporate dollar, Not your health! The professional beauty industry preys on the non-educated, just like the cosmetic industry preys on the non-educated consumer.

The settlement requires GIB, LLC, which does business under the name Brazilian Blowout, to cease deceptive advertising that describes two of its popular products as formaldehyde-free and safe. The company must also make significant changes to its website and pay $600,000 in fees, penalties and costs.

“California laws protect consumers and workers and give them fair notice about the health risks associated with the products they use,” said Attorney General Harris. “This settlement requires the company to disclose any hazard so that Californians can make more informed decisions.”

Today’s settlement is the first government enforceable action in the United States to address the exposures to formaldehyde gas associated with Brazilian Blowout products. It is also the first law enforcement action under California’s Safe Cosmetics Act, a right-to-know law enacted in 2005.

In November 2010, the Attorney General’s office filed suit against GIB, LLC for violating five state laws, including deceptive advertising and failure to provide consumers with warnings about the presence of a carcinogen in its products.

The settlement covers two products used in a popular salon hair straightening process, the “Brazilian Blowout Acai Smoothing Solution” and the “Brazilian Blowout Professional Smoothing Solution”.

The complaint alleged the two products contained formaldehyde but were labeled “formaldehyde free.”
Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about certain exposures to chemicals in the products they purchase. Formaldehyde is on the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

The complaint alleged that that GIB – the manufacturer of the Brazilian Blowout products – did not inform customers or workers that formaldehyde gas was being released during a Brazilian Blowout treatment, and therefore product users did not take steps to reduce their exposure, such as increasing ventilation. Under the terms of the settlement, GIB is required to:

– Produce a complete and accurate safety information sheet on the two products that includes a Proposition 65 cancer warning; distribute this information to recent product purchasers who may still have product on hand; and distribute it with all future product shipments. The revised safety information sheet — known as a “Material Safety Data Sheet,” or MSDS — will be posted on the company’s web site.

– Affix “CAUTION” stickers to the bottles of the two products to inform stylists of the emission of formaldehyde gas and the need for precautionary measures, including adequate ventilation.

– Cease deceptive advertising of the products as formaldehyde-free and safe; engage in substantial corrective advertising, including honest communications to sales staff regarding product risks; and change numerous aspects of Brazilian Blowout’s web site content.

– Retest the two products for total smog-forming chemicals (volatile organic compounds) at two Department of Justice-approved laboratories, and work with DOJ and the Air Resources Board to ensure that those products comply with state air quality regulations.

– Report the presence of formaldehyde in its products to the Safe Cosmetics Program at the Department of Public Health.

– Disclose refund policies to consumers before the products are purchased.

– Require proof of professional licensing before selling “salon use only” products to stylists.

GIB will also pay $300,000 in Proposition 65 civil penalties, and $300,000 to reimburse the Attorney General’s office fees and costs.