California lawmakers tackle nail salon worker safety

Technician says boss stole some tips at nail salon
28 August, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —California lawmakers promised a package of new bills Wednesday that they said will help nail technicians get fair wages and ensure they are informed about hazardous chemicals used in nail polish.

One of those chemicals is formaldehyde -- a carcinogen -- but there are others that worry worker advocates, who testified Wednesday at a hearing at the state Capitol.

"These are chemicals that have been linked to reproductive health issues, respiratory issues, as well as cancer, and are commonly found in thousands of nail polishes," said Assembly Member David Chiu, D-San Francisco.

Chiu and others want manufacturers to list ingredients in the polishes carried at salons and want salons to switch to nontoxic polishes, which are available to consumers at some retail stores.

Chiu and Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, said they will introduce several bills next year and will also tackle wage theft.

Some nail technicians have complained that salon owners pay them, not by the hour, but by the day, regardless of how long the work day is.

One technician, who testified at the hearing, said her boss stole some of her tips at a salon where she worked.

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