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My significant other works in a commissioned based (salon takes 45% she gets 55%) hair salon.  The owner does not pay a hourly wage.

Stylists are required to be there from 9-6am and cannot leave even if they have no clients.
Ex: a color process takes 2.5hrs. If the client cancels, they are required to stay and clean or do duties. This especially trouble if it happens at the end of the day.
The owner also routinely schedules meetings on sundays with no pay. 

No paid Vacation, and no other benefits however they are W2. I don't think this is a great place to work but I am getting comments back like "this is how this business is"  or "this is how the top salons do it" etc.

Is this legal? The state is SC. If this has been going on is there any recourse?  How is this different than a waiter?

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She was a booth renter and made more $$$ and then wanted to join a salon/team for the education benefits and to further ... (more)

Phenomix (May. 24, 2017 @ 8:49a) |

I think Glitch's point is that you haven't mentioned her opinion on this. Is she happy where she is? Does she want to ju... (more)

marginoferror (May. 24, 2017 @ 8:58a) |

I didn't think she DID sign a non-compete.  But I also would expect owner to walk her out the door as soon as she starts... (more)

RedWolfe01 (May. 24, 2017 @ 11:59a) |

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Does it work out to at least minimum wage?

Is she working over 40 hours a week?

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Phenomix said:   My significant other works in a commissioned based (salon takes 45% she gets 55%) hair salon.  The owner does not pay a hourly wage.

Stylists are required to be there from 9-6am and cannot leave even if they have no clients.
Ex: a color process takes 2.5hrs. If the client cancels, they are required to stay and clean or do duties. This especially trouble if it happens at the end of the day.
The owner also routinely schedules meetings on sundays with no pay. 

No paid Vacation, and no other benefits however they are W2. I don't think this is a great place to work but I am getting comments back like "this is how this business is"  or "this is how the top salons do it" etc.

Is this legal? The state is SC. If this has been going on is there any recourse?  How is this different than a waiter?

  IDK if it's legal, but if you don't like it find a salon that will allow your significant other to just rent a chair. It appears that so long as the commissions exceed the minimum wage over every two-week period, it may be legal:

https://www.thisuglybeautybusiness.com/2014/03/common-misconcept...

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She came from a booth rental place and will mostly likely being going back to that. The perks for her making the swap were great year 1 (feee education and trips) I think the salon is making more money now and has unfortunately gotten greedy. No education and no trips etc.  They are focused on the amount of money they are bringing in now.

Depending on the clients there are definitely times that she works over 40hrs per week.  In the scenario she has a color that runs over if that is the last client. She could potential work til 7-8 at night. maybe happens once or twice every two weeks or so.

im just totally baffled out how someone can require you to be there in a sunday with no pay.  Even if it is a 1-2 hr meeting.

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Also she probably gets tips and that will count toward figuring if she is getting at least minimum wage net.

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She makes about 1.2-1.5k a week even with the 55/45 split, definitely over the minimum wage question.  The schedule is 9-5 supposedly however it never closes at 5.

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Phenomix said:   ...
Depending on the clients there are definitely times that she works over 40hrs per week.  In the scenario she has a color that runs over if that is the last client. She could potential work til 7-8 at night. maybe happens once or twice every two weeks or so.

im just totally baffled out how someone can require you to be there in a sunday with no pay.  Even if it is a 1-2 hr meeting.



How much does she normally make? If it's far above minimum then the overtime is covered.


Yes your employer can require mandatory work when you are on commission. Even on Sunday. As long as it all works out to minimum wage.

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Phenomix said:   She makes about 1.2-1.5k a week even with the 55/45 split, definitely over the minimum wage question.  The schedule is 9-5 supposedly however it never closes at 5.


Sounds legal.

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Thanks for the information. I was wrong about it. 

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I'd look at it this way:

Is it legal for someone to make $60-75k a year while sometimes working more than 8 hours in a given day and maybe a few hours on Sunday?

Yes

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Fair point. I think i'm just disappointed in how they are choosing to run it.   Say your last appointment canceled.  So you could get off at 3-4ish they are making it mandatory you stay til 5-6. Even if there isn't anything to do. No vacation. Constantly pushing and demanding retail sales with no real bonuses. They give a $20 gift card each quarter to the top retail seller. What a joke. 

But hey like another poster said she can get a new job elsewhere. Which is my solution. Place is like a vampire with no added perks.

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One of the tests of independent contractor v. employee is whether the contractor/employee's hours are controlled by the workplace. So you could possibly get her classified as an employee, but is that really worth a fight? 

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BrianGa said:   One of the tests of independent contractor v. employee is whether the contractor/employee's hours are controlled by the workplace. So you could possibly get her classified as an employee, but is that really worth a fight? 


She is paid with a W-2 so she is an employee.

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She should open a salon herself and see how far 45% to the owner goes. Sounds like the owner is paying rent, heating and A/C, supplying all the chemicals and clientele. Sounds like she's making good money there and if she doesn't like she can always leave.

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Nobody asking for pics... What's wrong with FWF...

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Dang I should have been a hair stylist. That's more than I made as an engineer.

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Just curious if the tips get reported on W2 or that is tax free income

In my area, I have seen people drop $5/$6 for tip for a $14 haircut. [I tip at about 20% -rounded up].

 

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You should get a free consultation from an employment lawyer.

The employer can generally set scheduled hours for employees. Paying an employee 100% by commission is legal if they are making at least 1 and a half times minimum wage for all hours worked at the end of the pay period. It sounds like she makes enough where this is not an issue. She may meet the standard for a commissioned employee to be exempt from overtime, but would still need to be paid for all hours worked at at least 1 and a half times minimum wage. Meeting time and training time needs to be paid. Employees are required to be given breaks, some of which are paid.

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Phenomix said:   Fair point. I think i'm just disappointed in how they are choosing to run it.   Say your last appointment canceled.  So you could get off at 3-4ish they are making it mandatory you stay til 5-6. Even if there isn't anything to do. No vacation. Constantly pushing and demanding retail sales with no real bonuses. They give a $20 gift card each quarter to the top retail seller. What a joke. 

But hey like another poster said she can get a new job elsewhere. Which is my solution. Place is like a vampire with no added perks.

  Consider the opposite perspective - you are giving your employees $50k+ (55% of your revenue) and cover all their business expenses, yet now they're wanting you to pay someone else else to clean up after them so they can skip out early?

I'm sure the salon would be happy to hire cleaning people and pay for attending meetings - if that commission drops to 30%.

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jerosen said:   
BrianGa said:   One of the tests of independent contractor v. employee is whether the contractor/employee's hours are controlled by the workplace. So you could possibly get her classified as an employee, but is that really worth a fight? 


She is paid with a W-2 so she is an employee.

  Doh.

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Glitch99 said:   
Phenomix said:   Fair point. I think i'm just disappointed in how they are choosing to run it.   Say your last appointment canceled.  So you could get off at 3-4ish they are making it mandatory you stay til 5-6. Even if there isn't anything to do. No vacation. Constantly pushing and demanding retail sales with no real bonuses. They give a $20 gift card each quarter to the top retail seller. What a joke. 

But hey like another poster said she can get a new job elsewhere. Which is my solution. Place is like a vampire with no added perks.

  Consider the opposite perspective - you are giving your employees $50k+ (55% of your revenue) and cover all their business expenses, yet now they're wanting you to pay someone else else to clean up after them so they can skip out early?

I'm sure the salon would be happy to hire cleaning people and pay for attending meetings - if that commission drops to 30%.

  
Just imagine if every stylist left early without cleaning the salon. How long would it take for the place to look like a dump and the clients would disappear. Most Stylist and waitstaff would love to be there only when they're busy and leave when it slows down without cleaning. Keeping the place clean gives them a piece of ownership. Like the above... Would she be willing to give up another 10% to have someone clean for her? She could also use the slow time to "Market" herself to increase the number of clients. She is technically in business for herself with none of the risk of owning the salon.  

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jerosen said:   
BrianGa said:   One of the tests of independent contractor v. employee is whether the contractor/employee's hours are controlled by the workplace. So you could possibly get her classified as an employee, but is that really worth a fight? 


She is paid with a W-2 so she is an employee.

  The W2 is not necessarily determinative... but the real question is whether she is an exempt or non-exempt employee.

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Crazytree said:   
jerosen said:   
BrianGa said:   One of the tests of independent contractor v. employee is whether the contractor/employee's hours are controlled by the workplace. So you could possibly get her classified as an employee, but is that really worth a fight? 


She is paid with a W-2 so she is an employee.

  The W2 is not necessarily determinative... but the real question is whether she is an exempt or non-exempt employee.

  

oh?
 

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She does make W2 + tips that are reported. I understand the cleaning aspect. Once your specific duties are done... which they all have, you should be allowed to leave early. I disagree with businesses who want to run employees into the ground. If someone was grossing me 130k (55 / 45) I make sure that person was taken care of, along with my other employees. But being petty will push away people in my experience.

Another angle, she brought her own clientele with her to this salon. Her business was built prior to coming.  She only made the switch for education/up her hair expertise + a lot of other promises that were made in year one but have now dropped off.  

@letsspendlotsofmoney  What other businesses do an almost 50/50 split like this?

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Does your hair stylist wife know about this other wife who's picture you posted above?

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Does the Salon never have walk in clients? I would assume they like people to stick around in case someone walks in, and they can pick up that business.

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daw4888 said:   Does the Salon never have walk in clients? I would assume they like people to stick around in case someone walks in, and they can pick up that business.
  
This^^^
OP, if everyone in the salon did what you think your wife should be allowed to do, a potential walk-in customer would show up 30 minutes before closing and the place would be dark and abandoned. That's a customer that will never return. Any business owner worth his salt would not allow that to happen.

If your wife doesn't like working there and promises that were made aren't being kept, no one would fault her for leaving. But it's silly to complain about a boss that requires you to stay until the end of your shift or until your work is done and schedules mandatory meetings the same day each week (which is sometimes your day off) when that's the way it has always been.

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Phenomix said:   She does make W2 + tips that are reported. I understand the cleaning aspect. Once your specific duties are done... which they all have, you should be allowed to leave early. I disagree with businesses who want to run employees into the ground. If someone was grossing me 130k (55 / 45) I make sure that person was taken care of, along with my other employees. But being petty will push away people in my experience.

Another angle, she brought her own clientele with her to this salon. Her business was built prior to coming.  She only made the switch for education/up her hair expertise + a lot of other promises that were made in year one but have now dropped off.  

@letsspendlotsofmoney  What other businesses do an almost 50/50 split like this?


Then quit and go back to booth rental. The salon owner doesn't seem out of line. Maybe not the best boss in the world, but a lot of people could say the same.

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If she's unhappy with her current t arrangement, get a new one.

Seems based on posts and your original question, it's legal. Whether it's right or fair is a different story.

The only thing I would say, if she's happy there but you're not, just let it be.

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I would also think they would want people there incase of last minute appointments or to help clean-up so that everyone can get out of there at a decent time. Many jobs I had earlier in life my hours were until close - AKA until its all cleaned up and ready to open the next AM, that could be an hour after close or 10 mins depending on the night. I don't think anything asked here is that unusual. Does your SO have a lot of clients that will follow her to a new salon where she has to rent a chair or not?

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I hear all your points, there are walk in clients. She is booked out 3-4 weeks completely full. Most walk in clients go to the newer stylists with less clientele, they actually kind of fight over the walkins, the less busy stylists. 

Yes, probably 80% would follow. The only way to get a raise in a commissioned based salon is to raise your prices on your clientele. Which kinda sucks.  I think if she moves she could even lower prices... I also have knowledge of gaming credit cards for supplies etc. + not to mention working for yourself and SEP IRA perks etc.  

Also, so her going somewhere else...no need to repeat what I've already said. This is my suggestion/solution.

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If shes booked that far out...just open her own place. Don't take walk ins and set your own hours. Maybe one assistant part time to help with phones and busy times.

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wilesmt said:   If shes booked that far out...just open her own place. Don't take walk ins and set your own hours. Maybe one assistant part time to help with phones and busy times.
  And something that small will cost her more than the 45% she is getting right now.  Between rent, utilities, supplies and paying the assistant.

ETA:  Also depending on hours and location she may lose a lot of her clients. 

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Everyone likes to think business owners are "rolling in the dough" and the owner might be, she took the chance to open her own business and has been successful.

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Phenomix said:   I hear all your points, there are walk in clients. She is booked out 3-4 weeks completely full. Most walk in clients go to the newer stylists with less clientele, they actually kind of fight over the walkins, the less busy stylists. 

Yes, probably 80% would follow. The only way to get a raise in a commissioned based salon is to raise your prices on your clientele. Which kinda sucks.  I think if she moves she could even lower prices... I also have knowledge of gaming credit cards for supplies etc. + not to mention working for yourself and SEP IRA perks etc.  

Also, so her going somewhere else...no need to repeat what I've already said. This is my suggestion/solution.

  
I was amazed when I was in Charlotte, at HOW MANY converted houses and small commercial spaces were set up as salons.  I think there were more of them than convenience stores on my route to work.  (and that is saying something)  

I suspect SC isn't that different.  She should be able to find other salons/rentals/opportunities all over the place.  She may even find someone who is selling a small shop.  There is no reason she can't open her own space and even rent a chair or two to other stylists for walkins.  

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Phenomix said:   The only way to get a raise in a commissioned based salon is to raise your prices on your clientele. Which kinda sucks.
 

  This pretty much says it all.  I just cant figure out if she's the disgruntled rabblerouser, or if you are the one who's behind this "issue". 

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She can always just refuse to stay late or do any of the extra stuff she considers unreasonable. But she should also be prepared to start working somewhere else if she gets fired. How portable are the clients, really?

This isn't really much different from that of a commissioned salesperson at a furniture or electronics store. It's reasonable for the owner to want to keep posted hours and have staff available.

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TravelerMSY said:   She can always just refuse to stay late or do any of the extra stuff she considers unreasonable. But she should also be prepared to start working somewhere else if she gets fired. How portable are the clients, really?

This isn't really much different from that of a commissioned salesperson at a furniture or electronics store. It's reasonable for the owner to want to keep posted hours and have staff available.

  
I suspect that the leaving/portability of clients is not as cut and dried as presented, either.  Especially is she gets "fired" suddenly, but even if not she can't exactly go telling all her clients she is leaving for a month before.  I would imagine she would get sacked as soon as she started trying to "poach" clients -- even ones she brought into the business.  I would imagine her "boss" thinks of them as part of what she "invested" in your wife for.  

Maybe SOME of them contact her directly or have her "personal" number - but I bet a lot of them don't.  She would have to find a new place and call the ones she had info for.

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Sola Salons looks like the solution for the OP's wife. https://www.solasalonstudios.com/locations where she rents a studio, sets her own pricing, collects 100%, sets her own hours. She'll have the freedom to make as much as she would like and have a flexible schedule.

Skipping 3 Messages...
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Phenomix said:   She was a booth renter and made more $$$ and then wanted to join a salon/team for the education benefits and to further her skill set...she knew she would make less $$$ however the owner promised education which is a big deal in profession. Some of the classes are thousands of dollars. The owner delivered for a while but now nothing.  My advice then was to go better yourself/skill set even if it means a small money hit in the short term, in the long run you'll be better off. 

It is different than a furniture for the simple fact that, she has had the same clientele for 10years 75-80%% same clientele. maybe 10-20% are walk in clientele. I think this would be inverted in a furniture store etc. 

@Glitch99 care to elaborate?
@RedWolf  She does have all her contacts + she didn't sign any non-compete clause. Women's hair color is not something people just walk in and get done by anyone. You get purple hair and its a big deal haha.

The real issue is the lack of care for the employees etc... which she has voiced. 
Anyway, the solution is mostly likely to start her own / maybe a sola salon route. Life's short, happy in the work you do.

Thanks all for your advice, Fatwallet has always been a good resource for me to flesh out ideas, questions, concerns. 

 

  
I didn't think she DID sign a non-compete.  But I also would expect owner to walk her out the door as soon as she starts passing out cards with her new place.

She should just plan to notify everyone via email/phone then.  

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