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Hair stylist employment laws

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New member
Hi! So I’m new to Nevada, I’m not yet familiar with the employment laws here. I started at a hair salon where I signed a 1099 to be paid commission for 6 months. I bought all my own color and stuff. Well, my boss is telling me I have to be there 40+ hours per week with no hourly compensation and I’m not making enough money yet on clients to make as much as I would being paid minimum wage for that amount of hours. Is it legal for her to keep me there without paying me? Thanks.

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
The issue comes down to whether you really are (as the salon owner claims) self-employed or whether instead you are really an employee. If you are an independent contractor (self-employed) then there is no minimum wage the salon owner must pay you. If instead you are an employee, though, the employer does have to pay you at least minimum wage.

In your industry, there are some who are truly self-employed. They rent the chairs/space they use from the shop owner, buy all their own supplies, set their own rates, develop their own clientele, etc. But most are actually employees. I don't have enough information about all the details of your arrangement to know if you are actually self-employed. You might want to look at the discussion of independent contractor vs employee in
IRS publication 15-A. The factors used to determine who is an employee for wage laws are pretty similar though there are slight differences. In most cases though if you are an employee for one purpose (wages, unemployment comp, worker's comp, or tax) you are likely an employee for all of them.

The problem is that if you tell the salon owner that you believe you are an employee after reading the discussion in the IRS publication, the salon owner might just kick you out. So you'll want to be careful how you approach it. You can have the IRS make that determination for you using Form SS-8. Of course, if you're not even clearing minimum wage it might be worth looking for a different gig that pays more unless you think you'll build up pretty quickly to enough clients to make this arrangement worthwhile. Bear in mind that if you are not an employee you are not getting any coverage for worker's comp if you are injured while working, you'll not get unemployment comp if the owner kicks you out, and you'll be paying more of your own tax. So the salon owner saves an awful lot by having you as self-employed.
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