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Governor Cuomo And Mayor de Blasio Take Steps To Protect Nail Salon Workers

Following an investigation by the New York Times, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced emergency measures to protect workers' rights and health. On Friday, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will work to educate workers of their rights.

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Following a New York Times investigation into poor pay and unhealthy conditions at New York nail salons, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered emergency measures Sunday to protect workers rights.

The measures, set to go into effect immediately, will help protect nail salon employees from exposure to dangerous chemicals and wage theft.

Businesses will be required to post signs in multiple languages informing workers of their rights and employees will be required to wear gloves in order to protect them from fungal infections and warts.

A new, multi-agency task force will also conduct investigations in each, individual salon and implement an education campaign -- in six languages -- to inform the employees of their rights. The task force will not ask workers about their immigration status.

"New York State has a long history of confronting wage theft and unfair labor practices head on, and today, with the formation of this new Enforcement Task Force, we are aggressively following in that tradition," Cuomo said in a statement. "We will not stand idly by as workers are deprived of their hard-earned wages and robbed of their most basic rights."

According to Cuomo's statement, nail salons that don't comply with the new rules will be shut down.

On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city of New York would offer advocacy to the nail salon workers by educating them of their rights, the New York Times reported.

"We will use all available powers to shield nail salon workers from deplorable conditions, empower them with awareness of their rights," the mayor said in a statement, "and offer every other support we can to ensure the safety and dignity of our hardworking fellow New Yorkers."

The state is largely in charge of regulating nail salons and monitoring wage violations.

"In the absence of regulatory jurisdiction, our role here is to advocate and not regulate," Julie Menin, the city's commissioner of consumer affairs, told the New York Times. "To equip workers and consumers with the information they need."

Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at maryann.georgantopoulos@buzzfeed.com.

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