My answer: Because you let them.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of owners do contact me and are horrified to discover that they’ve been violating state and Federal laws. They simply didn’t know any better. Part of the blame can be placed on them for not putting forth the effort to research for themselves, but some of the blame can also be placed on their state governments for not making the information more easily accessible. This is the information age, there is no excuse for not having those resources organized and available online. Most states require continuing education as a requirement for license renewal. How difficult would it be to add about 5 pages or so outlining Federal wage & hour laws, state labor laws, and other applicable legislation as it applies to the salon worker?
Then again, there are owners that do what they do out of greed. A girl emailed me the other day telling me that her owner has her purchase product, takes 50% of her income, 20% of her tips, $30 out monthly, and $5.75 out each paycheck for “advertising” and for the use of the credit card machine. How this salon managed to find a staff is a mystery to me. But this happens all the time. Around the country, salon owners are violating these laws at their employee’s expense because “that’s how it has always been done.”
Many salon employees just listen to what they’re told and falsely believe that their owners “know best” when that’s rarely the case. That needs to stop now. Get informed and inform others. If something doesn’t sound right, don’t just blindly accept it. Question it. It’s time for us to stand up for ourselves. We need to look out for our own interests.
Fight for yourself. Nobody else is.