What do nail salons and pet salons have in common?

A long NYT article about nail salons has got New York government riled up.  The crusaders are crusading. They say they’re going to help nail salon workers by informing them of their rights and making safety rules. Then the government decided to expand their efforts to other industries. Yee haw! The fun begins.

NY government reps may discover that crusading collides with reality. The “victims” may be the ones fighting back hardest against government protection. Funny how that works.

I know this because I work in an essentially unregulated service profession. Training requirements? Safety rules? Tax compliance? Pffft! Are you kidding?

What about the so-called victims of unregulated, lawless salons? The pathetic workers who are robbed of unemployment insurance, workers comp and overtime? These victims are the ones who will slam down the phone and curse out a salon owner if she (and it’s mostly “she”) insists on following government rules. They don’t want to be classified as employees. They don’t care about the government’s protection. They want commission. They want cash. They especially want the option of hiding income to avoid tax. It’s just how it is.  Unemployment insurance, safety regs, overtime pay and the rest can take a flying leap off a dock as far as many groomers are concerned. I’m not one of those groomers, but I’d say I’m in the minority.  I think we’ll find the same is true of nail salon workers.

I’m not saying this is ideal human behavior, but denying reality has pitfalls.