A pair of Queens hair and nail salon businesses that allegedly committed multiple acts that violated New York’s labor laws, agreed to pay several of their workers as part of their settlements with the state’s Attorney General, the Queens Chronicle reported.
One settlement closed a labor law violation action the Attorney General had launched in Queens County against Tatyana Enterprises, the owner of a hair salon in Jackson Heights. In the Tatyana case, the Attorney General was pursuing the employer for its illegal response to a workplace injury that occurred in the salon in the summer of 2011.
After an employee suffered an injury at work, the employer responded by demanding that all of its employees sign back-dated employment contracts in order to attempt to avoid financial obligation for workplace injuries. These contracts misstated the terms of the workers’ employment, with the parties asserting that the workers were independent contractors, not employees. Any worker who refused to sign the bogus contracts was terminated.
The Attorney General filed suit in Queens County against the salon for the labor law violations. In addition to the bogus contracts, the state was also pursuing Tatyana’s salon for failing to pay overtime that was owed to some of the salon’s employees. The settlement amount in the Tatyana case was $40,000, which was to be paid to the eight employees wrongfully fired for refusing to sign the bogus back-dated contracts.
Immigrants often victimized
In another settlement, a Sunnyside nail salon agreed to pay $5,000 to a manicurist denied pay that she should have received. Bliss Nail Salon employed a Nepali immigrant manicurist who spoke very little English. The employer required the manicurist to pay a “deposit” to begin working at the salon. The employer also told the worker that, because she was a “trainee,” she was not entitled to the mandatory minimum wage or overtime pay. Midway through the worker’s three-month employment at the salon, the employer paid her $30 per day for shifts that often ran 10 hours. This was actually an increase, as she’d previously received only small sums of money for food.
Deborah Axt, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York, the immigrant advocacy group that submitted the original complaint against the Tatyana salon, told the Chronicle that immigrant workers are often the ones victimized by employers seeking to skirt minimum wage, overtime and other labor laws.
Regardless of your immigration status, job title, or the rate of pay you receive, you should be able to enjoy the benefits of the worker protections that are enshrined in the labor laws. If your employer is paying you a sub-minimum wage, refusing to give you overtime pay, or violating other labor laws, do not live in fear and tolerate this illegal treatment. Talk to the New York employment attorneys at Phillips & Associates. Our diligent and zealous employment attorneys represent the rights of workers in New York City and surrounding areas, helping them pursue actions for a variety of labor law violations. We practice at the municipal, state, and federal levels.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation, please contact us today online or at (212) 248-7431.
More blog posts:
New York AG’s $3.9M Settlement with Car Wash Owners Shines Light on Industry’s Underpayment of Workers, New York Employment Attorney Blog, Aug. 10, 2015
Report Shows Restaurant Servers Endure Sexual Harassment at Alarming Rates, New York Employment Attorney Blog, Dec. 10, 2014