Sep 22, 2016 (SACRAMENTO) Legislation by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to improve workplace conditions through labor law education in nail salons was signed into law by the Governor today.
Assembly Bill 2025 will take several steps to educate nail salon owners on existing workplace laws in California. It will strengthen the existing licensure application process for owners to ensure education about basic labor laws relevant to their establishments, with the goal of improving voluntary compliance. It will also include workers’ rights as a subject area in the curriculum for licensed nail salon workers and require that written materials for salon workers and owners be available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
“This is an important first step to ensure nail salon workers are treated fairly and in accordance with California labor law,” said Gonzalez. “Our culturally competent approach to educating both owners and workers in nail salons will go a long way to creating a workplace that is fair to both.”
There are over 52,600 establishments and almost 600,000 total workers, including approximately 129,000 nail technicians, currently licensed through the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. The nail salon industry in California is predominately comprised of Vietnamese immigrants, a significant number of whom have limited English proficiency.
A series of investigations by The New York Times last year into abusive practices in New York nail salons highlighted widespread compliance issues that led to workers being paid below minimum wage, exposed to dangerous working conditions, and other abusive practices. Subsequent hearings and town halls found that lack of education about these types of laws is a major concern in California salons.
AB 2025 is coauthored by Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Orange County) and Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).