As a commission-only employee of a salon, can I be forced to stay at work if I don't have clients?

When there are no clients on my book, I do not get paid. If I don't have anyone on the books, for instance, in the afternoon sometimes I would like to leave early but management forces us to stay even though we are not getting paid. I am technically an employee of the salon, but it doesn't seem right that they can force me to be here without being paid. I would appreciate any help concerning the legality of this matter. Thank you.

1 answer  |  asked Sep 26, 2009 10:21 AM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Alden Knisbacher
If you are required to be in the salon, they are required to pay you. An independent contractor is independent -- not subject to the control of the employer. If they are controlling your hours, you are an employee.

You are owed at least the minimum wage for the hours that you are in the salon. The employer might be subject to severe penalties for requiring you to work in the way that you describe -- that could violate california law regarding minimum wages and overtime. The time to sue over this issue is 4 years forward from every paycheck -- there are other important questions, like, how do you want to address this with the employer, and whether the owners have money to pay any type of judgment against them.

Feel free to send me your contact information to

posted by Alden Knisbacher  |  Sep 26, 2009 8:38 PM [EST]  [ Best Answer - selected by asker ]

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