Proposed NY Nail Salon Legislation Targets Enforcement

nail salon

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has introduced legislation that, if passed, would allow the secretary of state to order the cessation of unlicensed activity in the appearance enhancement industry and require trainees to obtain a certificate of registration before commencing training. The amendments to the current legislation would affect the terms for the New York appearance enhancement bond.

What is the New York appearance enhancement bond?

This bond holds business owners in the appearance enhancement industry responsible for conducting business activity in accordance with the law. Should the business violate any terms of the bond, it can be subject to penalties and fines due to filed claims against the bond. The requirement for this bond is $50,000 and remains valid for one year from the date of issuance. Appearance enhancement disciplines include nail specialty, waxing, natural hair styling, esthetics and cosmetology. To obtain a license for a specific discipline, you have to first file this bond or purchase liability insurance. The current legislation for the terms of this bond is explained in Article 27 of the General Business Law. For more information concerning the NY appearance enhancement bond, check out our page for this bond here.

What are the proposed changes?

One of the primary goals of these amendments is to discourage unlicensed business activity through the implementation of harsher penalties and increased authority for the secretary of state. The proposed legislation mandates that businesses operating without a license or with a suspended license is subject to a $2,500 fine for the first violation, a $5,000 fine for a second violation, and $10,000 for every subsequent violation. This holds true for businesses that continue operations after the secretary of state has issued an immediate cessation order. With the discovery of so many nail salons acting outside the regulations of the law, the proposed legislation expands the authority for the secretary of state. Under this legislation the secretary would be able to immediately impose an order of cessation upon an appearance enhancement business operating without a license, bond or liability insurance. A business cannot reopen without first obtaining the missing documentation and paying any assessed fines.

Another issue with the nail salon industry in New York concerns owners taking advantage of employees without a good understanding of the English language and legal citizenship. The New York Times series discovered that many nail salon employees, primarily immigrants, would receive payments significantly below the minimum wage. Further, some employees would have to pay the owner to learn the practice, which is illegal. This proposed legislation would require trainees of beauty enhancement practices to obtain a certificate of registration. This certificate would be valid for one year and available for one renewal at a cost of $20. Owners of this certificate are not entitled to an appearance enhancement license, but may receive one once they have completed one year of training and the course of study for their respective discipline. By legitimizing the process to obtain a license for employees, the hope is that employees will gain the tools and documentation to demand sufficient payments.

What’s next?

Practitioners or owners in the appearance enhancement industry must obtain a bond or liability insurance to receive a license. The bond form for appearance enhancement in New York is available here. If you have any questions, you can give us a call at 1 (800) 308-4358 and one of our surety specialists can answer any questions of yours. With stricter enforcement on the horizon, it is imperative for trainees, practitioners and operators of appearance enhancement businesses to obtain proper documentation to avoid future penalties and fines.

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