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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12355
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Hi, I have worked for a high-end gym in their spa for the last

Customer Question

Hi, I have worked for a high-end gym in their spa for the last 7 yrs as a esthetician preforming various treatments of facials and waxing we have always been paid a base minimum wage plus our commission for the treatment preformed. Recently our company was bought by another company that about a month ago was happy to inform us of the good news that our commission for each service would be higher but we would be only get paid for whichever was higher our commission OR our hourly rate, not both. At that time we also had to do numerous trainings for new services and products that were done during hours we could be taking clients plus attend mandatory meetings so we had less time available for actual commission treatments . Unlike the massage therapist we (estheticians) have about 50,000 dollars in equipment that needs to be cleaned and maintained and instruments that need to be sterilized to follow health and safety laws, among refilling and stocking towels, cotton, wax strips etc..all that is done outside the time we are performing the actual treatment. This means we are now doing this work for free. My question is, Can they do this?? Not pay us a minimum wage for the extra work that is expected of us outside of the actual service that we receive a commission on? I work in Beverly Hills CA, Thank You, a facialist with the New Gym Owner Blues
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

Assuming that you are an employee, you are entitled to receive compensation for all time that you are "suffered or permitted to work". (CCR 8 Section 11130(2)(f)) Cleaning equipment that is required to carry out your job functions would likely be considered "work" time under this definition and would therefore be compensable. All time worked must be compensated at the minimum wage or higher.

In regard to the change in salary structure and the time that you are now required to spend in training rather than servicing clients, an employer is permitted to change job responsibilities and rate of pay "at will" provided he or she gives notice of the change. Thus, absent an employment contract stating otherwise, an employer would typically be free to adjust the method of calculation or rate of pay on commissions, even if it results in a reduced overall wage.

To summarize, hourly employees are entitled to compensation for all time that they are suffered or permitted to work; however, an employer can change the rate of an employee's compensation and job duties "at will," provided he or she gives notice and the total amount of wages paid equals at least minimum wage.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the very best of luck. Bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

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