Does my son, a barber, have a case against his employer for firing him.

My son works as a barber in a small barber shop in Cleveland, OH. He is under no contract. He has worked there for about 3 years. He pays $150 per week, which is $600 monthly for the use of his chair in that shop.

There are a total of 5 barbers in the shop, along with the owner who also cuts hair. The others also pay the same rent for their chair, without a contract.

Today makes the 3rd time in 3 years that the owner fired my son. The owner in the past has called my son back to work after a few days.

For instance, today when my son went into work, he realized that equipment which he owns personally, was missing from his rented section. My son looked at his boss's section and saw that it was his boss that had taken his personal equipment.

My son told his boss the following: Hey, if you need to use my stuff, just call me and ask, I don't mind loaning it to you.

His boss told him the following, in front of customers who were waiting for my son to cut their hair: This is my shop, I own this place, I own everything in this place, and if you don't like it then get the F__k out.

My son told him: hey, you don't have to get all loud, I just saying that you took my personal stuff without asking me and I need it to work.

His boss said to him: you know what, you ain't nothing but a B_tch Ass anyways and if you don't like it then get the F__k out, you dumb B__tch ass.

My son told him: hey, calm down you don't have to get all loud with me in front of all my customers.

His boss said to him: you know what, You're Fired, how about that you B_tch ass, now what? So get the F__k out, You're fired!

So my son had to pick up all his equipment and leave.

On other occasions even though my son has paid his $150 rent for his chair for the week, his boss has either closed the shop early on his busiest days, or has not opened the shop and allowed the barbers to work.

His boss also will not give the barbers receipts when they pay their $150 weekly rent. My son has asked for a statement from his boss stating what he has paid throughout the previous year, in order for my son to do his taxes, and his boss will not give it to him.

Do we have any legal remedy? If so, would it be in small claims court or what? At times I have had power of attorney over my son due to the fact that he has mild tourette syndrome and OCD.

Should I get power of attorney again and fight this for him because my son believes that because he has no contract, that he is stuck just being wrongfully terminated like this.

1 answer  |  asked Feb 17, 2011 12:25 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Rubin
This message is not meant to: 1) contain my signature; 2) contain legal advice; 3) create an attorney/client relationship; or 4) guarantee confidentiality.

Certainly the owner of the shop is way out-of-line in his treatment of your son but it is not illegal. The boss can be rude and fire anyone for any reason. (The are some exceptions). What I don't understand is if your son pays a monthly rent for a chair he is a tenant, not an employee. Further, if your son purchased and owns the equipment, his boss can't keep it. This constitutes theft. You may want to consult with an attorney to evaluate the status of the relationship your son has with this owner.

Regarding the lack of receipts for the rental, a call to the Ohio Department of Taxation to file a complaint will get some action.

posted by Neil Rubin  |  Feb 17, 2011 3:23 PM [EST]

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