Nail salons in N.Y. ordered to pay $2m in back wages, damages
New York authorities say they have ordered 143 nail salons to pay $2 million in unpaid wages and damages to 652 workers. A state task force established a year ago said Monday that it has opened investigations into more than 450 businesses, completing 383 so far. The state enacted reforms following a New York Times expose on underpaid nail salon employees, many of them immigrants. The changes include requiring salons to publicly post notices of workers’ rights to legal wages and a safe environment. As a state license condition, salons are required to get insurance or bonding to cover business liabilities and unpaid wages. Officials say 4,000 salons statewide have secured a bond. Owners are also required to provide protective equipment, including masks and gloves.
US to develop pink coin to promote breast cancer awareness
US officials are developing a new, pink commemorative coin to promote breast cancer awareness and raise money for cancer research, said US Representative Carolyn Maloney (left), who sponsored legislation for its creation. The New York Democrat said federal officials will hold a contest to pick artwork that will be displayed on the coin, which is expected to be released in 2018. The pink-gold coin will be part of a set of three new coins aimed at promoting breast cancer awareness and help fund research to find a cure for the disease. The legislation was first proposed in 2013 and was signed into law by President Obama last month. The Treasury Department will create 50,000 pink-gold $5 coins. The US Mint, which will produce the coins, will need to use a new formula to give them a pink tint, Maloney said. They will be at least 75 percent gold.
Tribune makes it tougher for investors to take over company
Tribune Publishing, the owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune facing a hostile takeover bid from Gannett, adopted a plan that will make it tougher for investors to acquire more than 20 percent of the company. Tribune’s directors voted unanimously for the plan, which will last one year, according to a statement Monday. Under the plan, if an investor acquires 20 percent of the company, other stockholders will be awarded additional shares. Tribune added the so-called poison pill after Gannett vowed to pressure shareholders to withhold their votes for all eight nominees to its board, escalating a takeover fight for the struggling newspaper publisher.
J.C. Penney to sell major appliances
J.C. Penney says it will start to sell major appliances online and expand its rollout of the category to nearly 500 stores, or almost half of its stores, this summer. The move comes after a successful test of offering major appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators in 22 markets in February. Penney got out of the major appliance business more than 30 years ago. Penney also said Monday that that it exceeded its own goal for one measure of profit. Penney, based in Plano, Texas, is looking to rebuild sales, particularly in the home area, after a catastrophic reinvention plan under former CEO Ron Johnson resulted in sales and profits in free fall in 2012 and 2013. Business has been stabilized since then. But revenue has still not returned to the pre-Johnson era levels.
Prices rise for 10th week
Gasoline prices in Massachusetts have increased for 10 straight weeks, jumping 2 cents over last week, according to AAA Northeast. The average price Monday for self-serve regular unleaded was $2.19 per gallon in Massachusetts, up from $2.17 last week, according to the latest AAA survey. The last time Massachusetts prices were at this level was at the end of last September. Still, this week’s average remains well below what it was at this time last year at $2.64 per gallon. The price in Massachusetts is 2 cents below the national per gallon average for regular unleaded of $2.21. Gasoline prices in Massachusetts as of Monday ranged from a low of $1.99 to a high of $2.49 for regular unleaded, according to the auto club. Monday’s average gas prices per gallon for other grades were $2.43 for midgrade unleaded and $2.61 for premium unleaded. Diesel averaged $2.25 per gallon.
About 180,000 pacifiers recalled
About 180,000 pacifiers have been recalled due to a choking hazard. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission says the recall involves Munchkin-brand Latch lightweight pacifiers and clips, which are sold as a set. The commission says the clip cover can detach from the clip itself, creating a choking hazard. Commission spokeswoman Patty Davis says Munchkin is conducting a voluntary recall in cooperation with the government. There have been 10 reports of the clip cover coming off in the United States and Canada, but no injuries have been reported. The sets were sold between March 2014 and March of this year at retailers nationwide, including Babies ‘R’ Us, Target, Wal-Mart, and Amazon.
FDIC reports five more ‘major’ data breaches
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Monday retroactively reported to Congress that five additional ‘‘major incidents’’ of data breaches have occurred since Oct. 30. FDIC also is launching ‘‘a new initiative to enhance security.’’ The incidents involved the breach of taxpayers’ personally identifiable information, The Washington Post has learned. In each case, employees with legitimate access to the information were leaving the agency when they inadvertently downloaded the data along with personal files. The individuals involved provided affidavits saying the data was not shared. FDIC considers these to be low-risk cases, but they each meet the threshold of 10,000 records inappropriately exposed. They are being retroactively reported now because the cases were closed before an FDIC Office of Inspector General decision in February to define ‘‘major incident’’ as one that involves at least 10,000 records.
Global market to expand to $127 billion by 2020
Drones will soon be boosting crop yields, verifying insurance claims, and assisting in future Hollywood blockbusters in a business that’s due to boom by more than 6,000 percent by the end of the decade. The global market for commercial applications of drone technology, currently estimated at about $2 billion, will balloon to as much as $127 billion by 2020, consulting group PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said in a report published on Monday. With Poland leading the way in drafting laws for the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles, non-military applications are already being designed that may revolutionize thousands of industries. One project envisions drones flying over wheat fields to detect areas where crops are failing and then calling in reinforcements to tackle affected zones by spraying pesticide or nutrients.