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Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York announced a crackdown Monday on wage theft and worker abuse in nail salons after a series in The New York Times documented widespread exploitation of manicurists.

A task force will recover unpaid wages, shut down unlicensed salons and inform workers of their rights, and safety regulations will be toughened, Cuomo said in a statement. The steps are effective immediately.

“We will not stand idly by as workers are deprived of their hard-earned wages and robbed of their most basic rights,” Cuomo said.

The Times series found that nail salon workers are routinely underpaid and subjected to physical and verbal abuse and ethnic bias. In New York City alone, there were more than 2,000 nail salons as of 2012, triple the number from 15 years earlier.

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— Erin McClam