Nail Salons Still Getting Manicured

Nail Salons Still Getting Manicured

PHOTO:  Governor Cuomo announced this week that salon owners in the state will be required within the next 60 days to secure wage bonds depending on the number of nail service hours offered by the business.  Photo Courtesy of North Orchestra Boosters


In an ongoing effort to overhaul New York’s nail salon industry, Governor Cuomo announced this week that salon owners will be required to secure a wage bond within the next 60 days or face new penalties, to include business closure. In addition, salon workers will now have available to them free specialty training programs.

The wage bond requirement will depend on the number of hours of nail services provided by each practitioner. For example, if a business employs two to five full-time individuals who provide “nail specialty services,” the liability insurance required will be at least $25,000. A calculator to determine the required bond amount is available to salon owners at The website also contains a downloadable copy of the Department of State’s approved wage bond, which can be printed and brought to an insurance agent.

All salon owners are encouraged to review the details of this requirement. Evidence of the coverage must be accessible in the nail salon at all times that the business is open.

Applications for the free nail specialty trainee program are available in 10 languages at The license received through the program is a one-year with an option for one renewal. During the program, the trainee must work under the supervision of a licensed Nail Specialist and be employed by a licensed salon or “Appearance Enhancement Business,” and paid at least the minimum wage. After the initial year, the trainee can upgrade the license by completing a 26 hour course and passing both the written and practical exam.

In May, Governor Cuomo created the Nail Salon Task Force to reform the industry in the state. Following that announcement, Mayor de Blasio announced a “Day of Action” on May 21 which involved the outreach of 500 volunteers and city staff travelling throughout the five boroughs to distribute information about worker rights, proposed reforms on the use of formaldehyde and other chemicals, and employer obligations such as the Paid Sick Leave Law. Approximately 1000 salons were visited that day, and nearly 3,000 received information via mail.

In January, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Council member Rafael Espinal, chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs, announced legislation on a new letter grade system for Appearance Enhancement Businesses throughout the five boroughs. The proposed system would assess these types of establishments with a letter grade, as does the existing system that evaluates New York City restaurants.

The Department of State will enforce the wage bond requirement as of October 6, 2015 – the 60th day following issuance of a letter from the Department of Financial Services certifying the ready availability of the bond.


By Eugénie Bisulco


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