Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Salon workers involved in a payment dispute over low wages

Many people enjoy going to nail salons to be pampered. Although it may be fun for the customers, behind the scenes, the workers claim that they are being overworked and underpaid. California workers who are not exempt and are paid hourly should at least receive minimum wage and be given overtime pay in accordance with state and federal labor laws. When this does not happen and issues remains unresolved, the workers may look to the court to resolve their payment dispute.

After a nationally recognized newspaper recently revealed an in-depth investigation into the conditions faced by salon workers, two manicurists have come forward about how they have been treated. The women want their claim to gain class action status to represent similarly situated workers in the same field. By becoming a class-action suit, all workers in the same field in the same state would be eligible to take part in the suit.

According to the complaint, the women typically worked over 10 hours per day. They allege that they were paid a flat rate. One plaintiff was paid $55 per day, and the other was paid $60, which resulted in them being paid less than minimum wage. The plaintiffs also claim that they were not provided their required 30-minute rest periods.

The plaintiffs further allege that they were not paid overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a week. Although the plaintiffs did receive tips, they claim they were never told that the tip money would be counted toward the state minimum wage. In accordance with the law, when workers are paid tips, they should at least make minimum wage, and, when they do not, the employer is to make up the difference. In their payment dispute, they claim the salons violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the women are seeking the difference in pay and damages. California workers who believe that they have been denied proper payment can move forward with legal actions in pursuit of the compensation that they believe to be owed.

Source: Fortune, "NYC nail salon workers sue over minimum wage and overtime violations", Claire Zillman, May 15, 2015

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