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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Worried about an unethical manicure? Consult this guide

AP file photo of NYC nail salon.


AP file photo of NYC nail salon.



If you read the New York Times' damning May investigation of NYC nail salons — where many workers are paid below minimum wage or nothing at all, among other health problems and humiliating circumstances — you may find yourself worrying, like me last week, whether your favorite nail salon treats its employees fairly.

I can't tell you whether some workers in Tampa Bay nail salons face remotely similar conditions. But I can pass on a few tips from the Times and Allure that a friend recently passed on to me that can make your mani search more socially conscious.

The sources offer similar advice, except on whether you should straight-up talk about wages with your manicurist during the service. 

One constant is to be willing to pay more. Exceptionally low prices could present a red ethical flag.

The Times quoted Yale Law School lecturer Nicole Hallett, who has worked on some nail salon wage cases in court. She said, “We, as consumers, expect to have low prices and to be able to go to nail salons often, but the more prices are pushed down, the more employers are cutting costs. They’re cutting costs somewhere, and in many cases it’s coming out of the pockets of the workers themselves.”

It's not the answer we may want to hear as deal-conscious consumers. But it could mean you are supporting the right business.

Anyone else thought about this lately? What do you look out for?

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 3:24pm]


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