The Chinese Staff and Workers Association and the organization Justice Will Be Served announced a jury award in April 2012 in a successful lawsuit in which six Chinese nail salon workers sued a chain of high-end nail salons for failing to pay a minimum wage and overtime compensation. The nail salon workers were represented by The Legal Aid Society.
The lawsuit was filed in December 2009 in the federal court for the Eastern District of New York and alleged that the nail salons failed to pay them in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law, which require, among other things, that employees be paid a minimum wage and be paid overtime compensation. Four of the employees, who were still working at the salons when they filed this lawsuit, were then fired nearly one month later in retaliation for filing the lawsuit.
After a one-week trial, the jury found that the nail salon failed to compensate the plaintiffs as required by the minimum wage and overtime laws, and awarded them over $160,000 for these violations. The jury also found that the nail salon illegally fired four of the plaintiffs in retaliation for filing the lawsuit and awarded these plaintiffs over $80,000 in backpay.
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