New York

NY State Assemblyman Ron Kim: Nail Salons Have Been Decimated By Overregulation

The Cuomo administration directed "state resources to justify its knee-jerk reaction to a New York Times report."


Nail salon press conference, 1/19/16 |||

At a packed press conference in Flushing, Queens on Tuesday morning, Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-District 40) announced that he's co-sponsoring a state bill that aims to bring more transparency to the New York State Department of Labor's inspection process. Kim also released an industry survey of 194 nail salons showing that 54 percent of stores have laid off employees and 17 percent have closed entirely since May.

The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-District 20), will require that the State Department of Labor report the race, gender, and location of the owner of every business it inspects or penalizes. Kim says the need for more transparency was highlighted by a regulatory crackdown of nail salons that began after a two-part New York Times series alleged rampant labor abuses in the industry. Kim says the state's actions were discriminatory because they targeted an industry dominated by Asians.

"The [Cuomo] administration is guilty of directing state resources to justify its knee-jerk reaction to a New York Times report," said Kim, adding that the paper's public editor, Margaret Sullivan, later found that the original story was "biased."

Nail salon press conference, 1/19/16 |||

Kim was referring to a piece written by Sullivan that was prompted by Reason's re-reporting of the Times' coverage. The paper's "two-part investigation," Sullivan wrote last November, "went too far in generalizing about an entire industry" and "its findings, and the language used to express them, should have been dialed back—in some instances substantially."

More than a hundred nail salon owners attended Kim's press conference. Many of them held protest signs and wore T-shirts that said "Stop Discrimination Now!" The industry is planning a demonstration in Albany next month.

Kim pointed to survey data collected by industry groups as evidence of the negative impact the state's actions have had on nail salons. While there's anecdotal evidence to support that conclusion, the study itself wasn't carried out in a statistically rigorous manner. For example, no measures were taken to insure that the sample was representative of the industry, and the it doesn't include comparison figures showing the rate of business closure and layoffs prior to the regulatory crackdown.

For more on the controversy, read Reasons three-part rebuttal to the Times' series on nail salons, or watch the video:


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  1. The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-District 20), will require that the State Department of Labor report the race, gender, and location of the owner of every business it inspects or penalizes.


    1. Profiles in Business.

  2. We’re here to help. We’ll make it so you wont be bothered by these low wages anymore!

  3. No good can ever come of that type of recordkeeping; it attracts the worst sort of quota queens every time. However, this is how statists think – the solution to government problems is always more government.

  4. Government is just a word for things we do together, such as destroying businesses for no good reason.

  5. “Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-District 40) announced that he’s …” going to try and get in the way of the SEIU and AFSCME, and get his ass whooped

    And of course he’s going to flop and cry “Racism” rather than point out that this is a bunch of cronies trying to fuck with yet-another small-business that it wants to force into its unions.

  6. My cousin, a decent engineer of helicopter transmissions was inspired a year ago from having to wait as his wife had her nails done. A dozen vietnamese women running through dozens of women’s hands in the half hour he had to wait. He’s working on building a robot to automate some, if not all, of the whole ‘painting fingernails’ thing.

    A big problem is that human hands aren’t consistantly proportional – finger to finger.

  7. “””report the race, gender”””

    And tattoo this information onto the forehead of every owner and employee

    On a more serious note, I put down “other” whenever I can on these sorts of questions, I wonder what these race/sex etc hustlers will do if more people do the same.

    1. they assume you are white when you pick other. Seriously

      1. That is why I mark native american. I figure if it is good enough for Fauxchohantus it is good enough for me.

        1. Plus you might get part ownership of a casino.

  8. Riling up Koreans never ends well for anyone.

  9. Uh, if they’ve been decimated, they’ve only been reduced by 10%, which as in your other article, isn’t much.

  10. a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants. ups office hours

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