Santa Clara County Considers ‘Healthy Nail Salon’ Ordinance

Santa Clara County may enact a health ordinance to protect nail technicians, who work long hours around toxic chemicals.

About 80 percent of the 7,200 registered nail technicians in the county are Vietnamese. The vast majority are immigrant women, around childbearing age, who report headaches, pregnancy complications and other health problems because of the work they do.

Supervisor Cindy Chavez has proposed enacting an ordinance that would reward nail salons committed to providing their employees with healthy work conditions.

“It is necessary and reasonable for the County of Santa Clara to promote the health and wellbeing of a potentially vulnerable workforce through a voluntary recognition program,” she writes in a referral going before the Board of Supervisors this week.

The recognition program would be modeled after a similar system in the city of Santa Monica.

“An overwhelming majority of the nail industry workforce are immigrant women of childbearing age with limited English proficiency and limited education,” Chavez notes in a memo. “The relatively short training and licensing period required to be a nail technician combined with little need for English proficiency and startup capital has made this industry attractive for immigrant women with limited means.”

She’s asking that the Department of Environmental Health review existing programs in other cities and counties to create a similar version here.

“Recognized businesses will attract and retain both health and environmentally conscious clients,” she states.

More from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors agenda for November 4, 2014:

  • County attorneys may provide pro bono legal representation for immigrant children stranded at the southern border without their parents.
  • The quarterly p-card reports are in. They show that Supervisor Mike Wasserman spent $300 on software. Supervisor Cindy Chavez’s policy aide Jeffrey Cardenas spent $75 on a Silicon Valley Business Journal subscription. Ken Yeager’s aide, Michelle Collins, spent $130 on subscriptions to the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times. Once again, San Jose Inside remains free to readers.

WHAT: Board of Supervisors meets
WHEN: 9am Tuesday
WHERE: County Government Center, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose
INFO: Clerk of the Board, 408.299.5001

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

One Comment

  1. “County attorneys may provide pro bono legal representation for immigrant children stranded at the southern border without their parents.” If this is done 9:00-5:00 during regular work days, it constitutes a misappropriation of public funds for those county attorneys to accept their salaries. If they want to do this work, it should be from their vacation time, not on time the taxpayers of this county are paying for. If a person’s conscience compels her/him to provide this work, fine; but on their own dime, not at taxpayers’ expense. Many of us are fed up with the hordes who cross our borders illegally for all the freebies. All who come here to work ON THE BOOKS are welcome. The parasites can stay where they are.
    According to the staff memo: “”This voluntary work will be in addition to attorneys’ existing workloads.” If county attorneys have time to spare for this work, then we have too many of them in our employ.
    If an American parent sent a kid unaccompanied to Central America, that parent would be prosecuted for child endangerment at the very least. They are here illegally. Do what Iowa’s Governor did–charter a plane and send them back with a note not to send them back here again. Every child who comes here illegally takes money and services away from those who were born here or came here legally. Charity begins at home.