WETHERSFIELD — After a surprised investigation into the employment practices of beauty shops, the Department of Labor closed 23 salons, including five in Hartford, state officials said.
The investigation, officials said, is in response to several complaints from nail salon employees and recent news articles about questionable health and employment practices at nail salons.
According to State Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer, as a result of these investigations the wage division recovered more than $47,350 in owed wages for the employees – primarily for required minimum wage payments – and expects to collect additional money for workers.
An additional $79,000 in civil penalties was levied and collected for under reporting payroll and paying employees in cash and $21,300 for wage and hour violations.
Unannounced visits to the salons on Aug. 3 resulted in Stop Work orders being placed on the following establishments:
- Hartford: La Nails, American Nails, Modern Nails, Pink Nails, Touch Nails
- New Haven: Magic Nail and Spa, Fashion Nail and Spa, Outo Nails
- Stamford: Fiji Nail Salon, Cozy Nail Salon, Classic Nails, Lux Nails, Ace Nails
- Branford: Oasis Nails, Pretty Nail and Spa, Sera Nail Salon, Town Nails, Simply Nails
- Westport/Darien/Southport: Posh Nail and Spa LLC (3 locations), Queen Nail and Spa, Finger Nails
According to Gary Pechie, Director of the Wage and Workplace Standards Division, labor agents and investigators determined that workers were being paid in cash with no payroll records, wages were below the minimum wage of $9.15 per hour, and no overtime payment was being provided.
Officials said all 23 salons are now in compliance with state workplace laws and have been allowed to resume operations.