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Letter from Charlene – Celebrating Nail Salon Workers!





Dear friends and supporters,

NYCOSH is celebrating nail salon workers!  Thanks to the bill signed into law by Governor Cuomo last week, people working in an estimated 3,000 nail salons in the State can access a trainee program and workers will have added protection as the State moves to shut down salons that violate the law.

For more than ten years, NYCOSH has been raising occupational safety and health issues in nail salons. In 2014, NYCOSH worked with Adhikaarto co-found the New York Healthy Nail Salons Coalition, #NYHealthyNailSalons. We are thrilled that our vision to shift the nail salon industry toward public health, racial justice and workers’rights is coming true. We want to acknowledge the leadership of women as continually central to this effort, from immigrant workers to journalists and experts in occupational and public health and reproductive justice to environmental and consumer protections.

Most of all, we are clear that in the work ahead, we must continue to follow the leadership of workers, the majority immigrant women of color, and support their leadership and organizing as they work to change conditions in the long-term. We are excited that The Nail Salon Organizing Project spearheaded by Workers United, will now co-lead the Coalition with NYCOSH and Adhikaar.

Our work moving forward will be focused on the following:

  • Supporting worker empowerment so that workers stand up for their rights and against bad actors and live and work free from the threat of retaliation.
  • Supporting efforts to ensure that businesses understand and follow new laws and regulations including the upcoming health and safety regulations on proper ventilation.
  • Supporting efforts to educate consumers about how to identify and frequent salons that pay living wages and maintain healthy workplaces.
  • Improving the ability of workers to recover stolen wages through Secure Wages Against Theft legislation, which would hold the largest shareholders personally liable for wage theft, placing a lien on criminal businesses that steal from workers – business assets will be held before owners can dodge responsibility.
  • Ensuring workers are correctly classified as employees and not misclassified as independent contractors.

If you are interested in joining the NY Healthy Nail Salons Coalition or in collaborating with us in other ways, please be in touch at

In solidarity,


Workers hold up NYCOSH's body hazard maps at Workers United meeting.
Workers hold up NYCOSH’s body hazard maps at Workers United meeting.

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