They may don colorful costumes and dramatic makeup, but the waitresses of Las Vegas are no longer allowed to wear artificial nails. According to an ordinance passed by the Clark County Health District in Las Vegas, “Artificial nails are prohibited on food handlers, unless the food handler wears single-service food-grade gloves.” Some hotels have indicated that they will terminate employees who do not remove their artificial nails immediately.
The ordinance was adopted on June 27, 1996; the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology, however, was not aware of it until late October. “We have asked to review the notes that led to this decision and we plan to request that the Health Department include us in this kind of decision in the future,” says Mary Manna, executive secretary of the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology. The Luxor Hotel, one of the establishments that has already enforced the rule, would not participate in this article.
Julie Reese, owner of Nails Expo in Las Vegas, is asking local nail technicians to help reverse the decision, but right now very few people know about the rule. “The health district says that the cracks and crevices you get when you wear artificial nails attract more dirt,” Reese says. “I think that someone who gets her nails done is going to be even more careful about hygiene than someone who never goes to a salon.”