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There’s no question that it’s tough out there

for the barbering and cosmetology industry: the

competition is fierce, with prices for services tum-

bling as shop owners vie for customers. But that’s

no excuse for owners to shortchange employees’

paychecks or curtail their rights under California

law. The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology

would like to remind establishment owners that

they must follow state rules regarding wages, work

hours and other working conditions.

A story earlier this year in KQED’s California Re-

port cited a lawsuit by the civil rights organization

Asian Americans Advancing Justice that suggested

many nail salons may be systemically cheating

their employees. According to the story, the suit

alleges four women at a nail shop in Orange were

paid strictly on commission and being pressured

into becoming“independent contractors”despite

the shop setting the women’s rates and hours of

employment. California labor law says if a shop

sets the rates and hours of employment, their

workers are considered employees, not contrac-

tors, and must be paid minimumwage.

Helen Chen, the coordinator of public programs

at the UC Berkeley Labor Occupational Health Pro-

gram told the California Report that it’s extremely

common in the nail salon industry for owners to

avoid paying overtime, vacations or holidays, or

even provide work breaks.

It’s important for business owners to be aware

of labor laws regarding pay and working condi-

tions, and follow them, even in a difficult business

environment. The California Legislature recently

raised the minimumwage beginning January

1, 2017. The minimum for businesses with 25 or

fewer employees – now $10.00 -- will increase to

$10.50 in 2018 and rise every year through 2023,

when it will reach $15.00 an hour. The current

minimumwage for businesses with more than 25

employees is $10.50 an hour, and will reach $15.00

in 2022.

To ensure that shop owners are aware of their

workers’ rights, the Legislature nowmandates

that all new applications for establishment li-

censes or renewals of existing licenses include an

acknowledgement from the applicant that he or

she is aware of basic California labor law. It also

mandates that shops conspicuously post a notice

The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology does not endorse any article,

product, advertisement, or service contained in this newspaper. If you have

questions or concerns about the contents of this newspaper and believe that

it may affect you as a licensee, you may write to the address listed above.

Board of Barbering and Cosmetology

State of California

Department of Consumer Affairs

P.O. Box 944226

Sacramento, CA 94244-2260


Kristy Underwood — Executive Officer

California Board News

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