NEW YORK (PIX11) – A nail salon chain with locations across New York City was ordered by the New York Attorney General’s Office to pay $300,000 in unpaid wages to over 100 current and former employees.

A multi-agency investigation into Envy Nails began in December 2018 after nail salon workers filed wage theft complaints, according to authorities. Officials claimed that between 2015 and 2021, 25 nail salons owned by the chain misclassified their employees as independent contractors and didn’t pay them minimum wage or overtime.

The Attorney General’s Office said it was also discovered that Envy Nails underreported over $2 million in taxes between September 2014 and August 2019. Envy Nails owed at least $90,000 in sales tax, penalties, and interest, officials said.

One of the nail salons operating under Envy Nails, Nails 181, plead guilty to third-degree grand larceny as a result of the tax investigation. Nails 181 owes the state over $275,000, officials said.

“Envy Nails did not pay minimum wage, cheating more than 100 salon workers out of the livelihoods they had rightfully earned,” said Attorney General Letitia James.

Nail salon workers previously protested in front of Envy Nails in 2019 over low wages and health concerns due to the lack of protection against the chemicals in the polish.

PIX11 News could not find contact information for Envy Nails.

Erin Pflaumer is a digital content producer from Long Island who has covered both local and national news since 2018. She joined PIX11 in 2023. See more of her work here.