Regulation

Chinese Nail Salon Owners: 'Shame on You New York Times!'

Protesters decry the Times' reporting-and the new regulations it inspired.

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Nail Salon Industry Protest, September 21, 2015
Jim Epstein

About 350 members of New York's nail salon industry rallied in front of City Hall in Manhattan today to protest a recent state mandate requiring that business owners purchase wage-bond insurance before October 6 or face significant fines. The crowd was made up primarily of Chinese-American nail salon operators.

Several participants held signs denouncing a series on the nail salon industry published in The New York Times in May, which is what led to the recent regulatory crackdown. Several protesters interviewed by Reason alleged that the Times series, which was written by reporter Sarah Maslin Nir, was rife with factual inaccuracies and gross mischaracterizations.

In particular, they disputed a claim made by the Times that it's common for nail salon technicians to earn as little $10 per day.

A smaller counter protest also gathered in front of City Hall, with about 25 participants holding signs in support of the wage-bond requirement and increased regulation of the nail salon industry. It was organized by a group called the "Healthy Nail Coalition."

One nail salon worker participating in the counter protest, a Mexican-immigrant who spoke through a translator and asked to be identified only by her first name, Alma, held a sign that said (in Spanish). "Worker Dignity: They pay me $50 per day for 10 and a half hours." When questioned, she said that her base salary is actually $65, and she earns between $20 to $55 in tips on top of that.

Nail Salon Industry Protest, September 21, 2015
Jim Epstein

After the City Hall demontration disbanded, a group of about 50 protesters made the six-mile trek uptown to The New York Times' headquarters on 42nd Street. They gathered in front of the building's main entrance and chanted "Shame on you NYT!," before leaving about 10 minutes later at the request of building security.

The wage-bond requirement was created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) through an emergency order issued last month. A wage bond is a type of insurance for workers who win a judgement against their employers but are unable to collect their winnings.

Last week, the Korean-American Nail Salon Association and the Chinese Nail Salon Association filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme court seeking to overturn the wage-bond requirement on the grounds that it's discriminatory and "based on an irresponsible piece of reporting by The New York Times," according to the petition.

In a phone interview, the plaintiff's attorney, Michael Park, said he expects the courts will grant a preliminary injunction in the case, which would push back the October 6 deadline.

Reason TV is working on a report that will explore in detail the validity of The New York Times' reporting on the issue and look at the effect that new regulations are having on the nail salon industry.

My colleague, Elizabeth Nolan Brown, has reported on the controversy here, here, here, and here.

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  1. Finally they’re putting those greedy capitalist nail salons in their place.

    1. bad journalism is always the nursemaid of big government

    2. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……

      http://www.HomeJobs90.Com

  2. Who cares what these plebes think, we upper-middle class progs can sense true exploitation. Seeing as these poor Asians dont have agency and cant be trusted to make voluntary choices, we must legislate and ignore their misguided protests.

    1. But we’re not racist at all…

    2. It can’t be bad! We know what is best! After all, we all KNOW that FAIRNESS isn’t SUBJECTIVE and HONESTY is beholden to AGENDA and BIAS…

  3. Just how many moral panics has the NYT been responsible for? 25? 50? 100?

    1. Just how many moral panics has the NYT been responsible for?

      All of them?

  4. When a bored, wealthy, white New York socialite masquerading as a journalist feels guilty about the little yellow woman doing her nails, well something must be done.

    Andrew Cuomo has taken down Big Nails and Big Tattoo. SAVE ME FROM MORE ANDREW.

  5. Have I mentioned that the outrage industry is a billion-dollar business… and it’s entirely unregulated?

  6. I have a sneaking suspicion the writers and editors at the Old Grey Lady give zero fucks what the nail salon proprietors think. In fact, they might achieve the theoretically impossible by giving less than zero fucks.

    1. The NYT will not be satisfied with workers’ dignity until each an every one of them is unemployed!

      1. Look, Paul, do you expect every journalist to know what they’re talking about, understand industries they cover/criticize, and actually do real legwork? I mean come on. What is this, the real world? Pshaw.

    2. Which is why when it finally goes out of business I won’t shed one tear for those assholes suddenly out of job.

    3. They’re capitalist exploiters. The NYT writers will probably sleep more soundly tonight.

  7. “which was written by reporter spoiled socialite Sarah Maslin Nir”

    FTFY

  8. ” It was organized by a group called the “Healthy Nail Coalition.””

    SEIU astroturf?

        1. God damn. That directory is like a who’s who of scumbaggery.

          1. It would be nice if the writers sometimes took 5 minutes before writing these stories to help clarify for lazier readers those little details. I appreciate that he asked the non-english-speaking counter-protestor* some questions….

            (*whom i presume the unions hired at below-minumum-wage rates, like they have at other similar public events)

            …. but it would be nice to have an article out there that outed these bullshit orgs as being paper-thin fronts for Big Union interests who will gladly fuck over small business owners in their perpetual quest to create systematic dependents out of every single city worker they can.

            1. We have a grocery store here called Fresh and Easy. British owned, sort of a competitor to Trader Joe’s. The UFCW was fucking furious, because they are all self-checkout. They attacked it several different ways. One of them was claiming that self checkout enabled alcohol sales to minors. The unions staged a giant protest and press conference in front of my local store. It included local clergy decrying the scourge of underage drinking.

              The CEO of Fresh and Easy stepped in front of the cameras and dropped this little tidbit of information: The entire Fresh and Easy chain (100 some odd stores) was citied exactly 3 times in the previous calendar year for selling to minors. The local Ralph’s (Kroger) down the street (single location) was cited 13 times in that period for the same offense.

              Of course, you can guess how this turned out. He was ignored, and as of January 1st, 2014, it is a misdemeanor to sell alcohol through a self checkout register in CA.

              1. We have a grocery store here called Fresh and Easy.

                You know who else was Fresh and Easy?

                1. “You know who else was Fresh and Easy?”

                  Unemployed Asian nail salon workers?

                2. Epi’s Mom?

                  Well, except for the fresh part.

              2. And that has subsequently made every grocery trip I make that much more tedious.

              3. ‘…and as of January 1st, 2014, it is a misdemeanor to sell alcohol through a self checkout register in CA.’

                Most stores I use here in California that sell liquor and have self check out won’t process the sale. If you try, a light goes off to notify an employee and you can’t complete the self checkout until the employee types in a code to unlock that self checkout register. Your option is to forego the alcohol purchase or cancel the self checkout and go through a line with a cashier.

                1. Yes. And if they do process the sale….

      1. “What gave it away?”

        The paid illegals paid less wages than the wages they are protesting is a hint.

  9. I predict bartenders and waitresses are next.

    1. Nope. Hipster jobs are immune from the deleterious meddling of the state. Can’t be going around fucking with the livelihoods of reliable prog SWPL constituencies.

  10. The NYT seems to like to fuck with everybody that isn’t a subscriber. Damn Chinese and their Chinese newspapers!

    1. Lacist!

  11. I outsource all my nail work to Bangladesh.

  12. I heard that some lacrosse players raped a nail-salon owner at a UVa frat house.

  13. The exploitation orbit:

    If many of these under-privileged and exploited ladies were to achieve a modicum of success by opening their own business they would simply swap one form of exploitation for another which happens to be a governmental bureaucracy giddy at suppressing small business owners out of business and, perversely, back into previous ‘exploitation’.

  14. The reason for the push for wage-bonds for nail salons is that when the worker wins a judgement in civil court or in Labor court, the owner easily weasels out of paying by declaring bankruptcy, delaying the case, and making it impossible for the worker to collect.

    With this insurance, the employer has a choice, the employer can weasel out of paying the judgement and simply see the bond rates go up. Or, god forbid, make good on the judgement.

    1. the owner easily weasels out of paying by declaring bankruptcy,

      There’s nothing easy about declaring bankruptcy, or cheap. For the next ten years, every loan you get will cost you dearly.

      1. That is if you can even get the loan.

      2. It’s not true. Once you declare bankruptcy, one can’t default on any new loans during the bankruptcy period.

        And remember, America has that beautiful thing called the Corporate Shield. It’s not John Doe filing bankruptcy, it’s John Doe, Inc.

        1. Hang on. I don’t think you can get a loan if you declare bankruptcy for a certain period.

          In Canada, it’s seven years for personal bankruptcy and comes with all sorts of costs.

          1. Don’t believe some stranger on the internet, look it up for yourself. You’ll get the loan. But if you default on payments during bankruptcy, this new loan can’t get bankruptcy protection. So, the creditor can go after you HARD!

            And don’t forget, having the Corp get the loan (even with a personal guarantee) makes it even easier.

            1. Er not exactly. This is Canadian law:

              “I’ll never be able to get credit again if I file for bankruptcy. As mentioned earlier, a bankruptcy notation will remain on a credit file for at least six years after the discharge. During that time, every creditor will be able to see the bankruptcy notation. After those six years have expired, there will be nothing on the file to show a bankruptcy. Even during that six-year period, people can take steps to rebuild their credit ratings. “You will be able to get a secured credit card and a car loan shortly after you are discharged,” says Earl Sands, a Vancouver-based trustee in bankruptcy. “Provided you meet the income tests, a year after your discharge you should be able to qualify for most loans.” Many lenders specialize in clients who’ve had a less-than-stellar credit history.”

              http://www.cbc.ca/news/busines…..-1.1014375

              1. I’m not talking about Canada.

                1. Well you should.

                  It’s good for your health.

                  1. I love Toronto.

                    I call Canada America-Lite.

                    In fact, I think Canada did a better job than America at being America.
                    hope that makes sense

                2. What you claim is wrong in Texas, too.

                  You can’t get a new loan without approval of the bankruptcy trustee until you’ve paid off your restructured debts–about five years. They don’t look kindly on a person taking on new debt while they’re supposed to be paying off old debt.

                  Methinks you’ve been listening to predatory creditors too much.

            2. Don’t believe some stranger on the internet, look it up for yourself. You’ll get the loan.

              don’t believe some asshole on the internet. declare BK and find out for yourself how easy credit is.

              academics are so fucking stupid.

            3. I imagine you could get a Chrysler product right after declaring BK. or a GM. because those shitboxes need moving. but you can’t have a Toyota. unless it’s from the note lot.

        2. Are you pretending to be a lawyer? It’s incredibly easy to pierce the veil.

          And now my Tulpa detector is pegged in the red.

          1. Are you pretending to be a lawyer?

            A lawyer can spell “judgment.”

            Tulpa elevates stupid trolling to an art form.

            1. If I learned anything from my raving experiences of the late 90s early 00s, it’s never a mistake to drop the e.

        3. And remember, America has that beautiful thing called the Corporate Shield. It’s not John Doe filing bankruptcy, it’s John Doe, Inc.

          Wait, are all these Vietnamese corner nail salons Big Nail, Inc?

      3. Precisely. People don’t seem to grasp bankruptcy comes at a high cost.

        After careful calculation it may be worth if for some – mostly those without much options – but it’s not necessarily the case for most.

        You can declare personal bankruptcy for debts but you won’t get a loan for seven years. That’s one example why it’s not easy.

        1. Ask Donnie Trumpie. He’s never-ever declared bankruptcy and he’s a billionaire.
          Nevertheless, Trump Inc has declared bankruptcy a mere five times.

          1. Many entrepreneurs file for bankruptcy pal. And most are not for nefarious reasons. Sometimes business is about trial and error or timing and entrepreneurs have a different set of motivations than the average person.

            I think the average successful entrepreneur has filed four or five times in their lifetime.

            What’s your point commie?

            1. I’m not a commie. I don’t believe all businesses should be owned by the government.
              I believe in property rights and many things you guys believe in.

              I think where we differ is in the level of regulation that needs to be applied.

              BTW, on the other side of that Bankruptcy, exists many little guys. In Donnie’s example, small contractors, painters, etc. etc. etc. that get NOTHING. That’s the nice thing about the wage-bond.

              It at least protects the employees from the “trial and error” thang.

              1. ‘It at least protects the employees from the “trial and error” thang.’

                Why should they be ‘protected’?

                You seem to imply ‘trial and error’ is bad and needs to be regulated when in fact it’s just a spontaneous and organic fact of markets.

              2. I think where we differ is in the level of regulation that needs to be applied

                So, you’re a fascist?

          2. Ask Donnie Trumpie. He’s never-ever declared bankruptcy and he’s a billionaire.
            Nevertheless, Trump Inc has declared bankruptcy a mere five times.

            Wait, we’re getting way off track. You’re telling me Nim Binh Ho Nails is working at the same corporate level as the Trump empire? No, they have a small business license.

            1. Moving the goal posts is just part of the argument for some people.

    2. Re: Itchy Puss,

      The reason for the push for wage-bonds for nail salons is that when the worker wins a judgement in civil court or in Labor court, the owner easily weasels out of paying by declaring bankruptcy

      Which ipso facto turns all nail salon owners into bad guys, therefore all must get wage-bonds.

      Call it the “Let God sort His own” legislation.

      1. Do you lock your doors at night?
        Does it make all of your neighbors burglars?

        No, this is another safety net established after abuse by some.

        1. No. And maybe. I’m just trying to stay on a polite basis with the motorcycle cop down the street. From the cars in his driveway, either he married well or the OT escorting funerals is great.

    3. We are all aware of what it is for. A captive market (extortion) for cronies.

      Apparently the salon owners aren’t getting on board:

      http://www.crainsnewyork.com/a…..nd-mandate

      First and only comment: Josh Kayser (owner of Suretybonds) – “To date, we have only had about 80 salon owners come to us to submit an application for the wage bond. No one has paid their premium yet.

      Our past data on new bond requirements matched with how many salons there are in New York shows that we should have quoted several hundred by now.

      We operate a nationwide retail agency that is open from 7am to 7pm central standard time. The salon owners simply are not trying. We’re not hiding.”

      Uh huh. This is what happens when regulations become too onerous. Large parts of the economy go underground.

      1. Also, these are Chinese. They have been dealing with corruptocrats like Cuomo and Co. for centuries.

    4. “the owner easily weasels out of paying by declaring bankruptcy”

      Yes, the productive, risk-taking business owner ‘weasels’ out of paying exorbitant damages to predatory lawsuits supported by union-interests by *going out of business and having his/her life destroyed*. The nerve of those people!

      You’re a fucking idiot.

  15. Who’s the new commie troll?

    1. A lot of trolls were emboldened by the failure of Reasonable this month.

      Even Underzog made an appearance today.

    2. I’m gonna read a couple more of its comments before I declare it’s a commie.

      1. Commie or not, it’s not worth engaging with

    3. Feel like it has to be Tulpa, though he’s taking it in an interesting direction. The Sam Haysom handle was kicking around earlier, and of course Bo can come out of retirement for the sake of Scott Walker news.

  16. OT: Just got reason’s subpoena flavored invite to their media awards. Well done for embracing this. I expect that a certain level of giving will receive miniature woodchippers in the annual donation-thon.

    1. Yeah, I had a slight heart attack when I pulled that out of my mailbox.

      1. My wife dropped the “What the fuck is this????”

  17. Several protesters interviewed by Reason alleged that the Times series, which was written by reporter Sarah Maslin Nir, was rife with factual inaccuracies and gross mischaracterizations.

    So not an atypical piece by the New York Times, then.

  18. Old Gray Lady she ain’t what she used to be, ain’t what she used to be, ain’t what she used to be…

    1. The Old Gray Lady was never the woman she used to be.

  19. At this point I’m of the opinion that anyone who works for the NYT is an asshole.

    1. I asked for my name to be forwarded to a job opening there.

      So that would be more data in favor of your argument.

      1. So you can bring it down from the inside. Right? RIGHT????

  20. “Worker Dignity: They pay me $50 per day for 10 and a half hours.”

    Is she a fucking indentured servant or something? Can she not find a salon that pays what she thinks she is worth? I’m gonna need Tony to explain this to me.

    1. Or other work? If your time in your trade isn’t worth living on, find a new trade. I’m on my fourth.

      1. Brett, I have a practical engineering question that I think you’d be able to answer. It’s to settle an argument with my dad.

        Got a sec?

        1. Lay it down, dude. I’m an electrical engineer….could give it a shot.

      2. I’m curious what the other four are.

        1. Rich man, poor man, beggarman, thief.

          /kidding

  21. Am I the only glad they don’t live in a state where a governor can’t just impose wage laws under “emergency powers”?

  22. Our newspapers are going down the tubes. Old journalists are being replaced by younger journalists who will work for less money, but don’t have institutional knowledge. Those same young journalists are now covering several different beats rather than being able to focus on one. Real hard hitting journalism takes a massive amount of work before a story can be published and the budgets of today’s newspapers just aren’t cutting it. TV news certainly cannot take the place of newspaper journalism. The online market isn’t the same, either. It gets worse everyday.

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