My Second Documentary From The Real Hair Truth Series, “The Beautiful Lies”

My Second Documentary From The Real Hair Truth Series, “The Beautiful Lies”

Release Date 2016

“The Beautiful Lies” a Documentary about a group of Innovators/Entrepreneurs in the Beauty/Cosmetic Industry. They tell there story’s of Entrepreneurship, Advice, Ups and Down’s, Peaks and Valleys and why they became entrepreneurs in there industry. In a industry dominated-by manufacturer greed and deception.

Starring: Phil Stone   Robyn Atticks   Tyrone Reid   Joseph Kellner  Jenn Po   Lauren Ezekiel   Martin Rodgriguez   Jay Christian  Jay Beecher   Gene Martignetti   Mandy Stanton   David Velasco   Eric Motokoff

Genre: Everyone
Directed By: Joseph Kellner/Jotovi Designs Inc
Release Date: 2016

 

 

Ignorance and Lack Of Over Sight From Probeauty (PBA) They Will Let The States Handle It

Realhairtruth.com

Compelled to work endless hours just to get by, the manicurists live lives that spool almost entirely within the walls of their salons. An underground economy has sprung up in Flushing and other city neighborhoods where salon workers live, to help them cope. On weekdays, women walk from door to door like Pied Pipers, taking nail salon workers’ children to school for a fee. Many manicurists pay caregivers as much as half their wages to take their babies six days a week, 24 hours a day, after finding themselves unable to care for them at night and still wake up to paint nails.  Jing Ren usually spent days sleeping in her slim pallet a few feet from the bed of her 24-year-old cousin, Xue Sun, also a manicurist. She had no time to make other friends.  She eventually started taking English classes, hoping to grasp onto a new life, but she feared the gravitational pull of this one.  “I would feel petrified,” she said, “thinking that I’ll be doing this for the rest of my life.”

Low Prices, Low Pay

As far as small businesses go, it is relatively easy to open a nail salon.  Just a few thousand dollars is needed for things like pedicure chairs with whirlpool baths. Little English is required, and there are few licensing hoops to jump through. Many skip them altogether. Overhead is minimal: rent and some new bottles of polish each month — and the rock-bottom wages of workers.  Beyond the low barriers for entry, manicurists, owners and others who have closely followed the nail industry are hard pressed to say definitively why salons have proliferated.  In the 1990s, nail polish brands began to market more directly to consumers, helping to fuel demand, according to Nails Magazine. Polishes also became more sophisticated; they last longer and are easier to remove.  Census data show the number of salons in New York surged through the 2000s, far outstripping the rest of the country. Growth dimmed slightly during the recession, as lacquered nails remained an affordable treat for many, before climbing again.

But as nail salons have mushroomed, it has become harder to turn a profit, some owners said. Manicure prices have not budged much from 1990s levels, according to veteran workers. Neither have wages.  With their gleaming glass fronts, the salons seem to display their inner workings as transparently as a department store displays a holiday window. But much of how salons operate and how workers are treated is kept deliberately opaque to the outside world.  Among the hidden customs are how new manicurists get started. Most must hand over cash — usually $100 to $200, but sometimes much more — as a training fee. Weeks or months of work in a kind of unpaid apprenticeship follows.  Ms. Ren spent almost three months painting on pedicures and slathering feet with paraffin wax before one afternoon in the late summer when her boss drew her into a waxing room and told her she would finally be paid.

“I just burst into laughter unconsciously,” Ms. Ren said. “I have been working for so long while making zero money; now finally my hard work paid off.”

That night her cousins threw her a party. The next payday she learned her day wage would amount to under $3 an hour.

Step into the prim confines of almost any salon and workers paid astonishingly low wages can be readily found. At May’s Nails Salon on 14th Street in the West Village of Manhattan, where a photo of the singer Gwen Stefani with a manicurist hung on the wall, new employees must pay $100, then work unpaid for several weeks, before they are started at $30 or $40 a day, according to a worker. A man who identified himself as the owner, but would give his name only as Greg, said the salon did not charge employees for their jobs, but would not say how much they are paid.

At Sona Nails on First Avenue near Stuyvesant Town, a worker said she made $35 a day. Sona Grung, the owner of Sona Nails, denied paying below minimum wage, yet defended the practice, particularly of underpaying new workers. “When a beginner comes in, they don’t know anything, and they give you a job,” she said. “If you work in a nail salon for $35, it’s very good.”

Nail salon workers are generally considered “tipped workers” under state and federal labor laws. Employers in New York are permitted to pay such workers slightly less than the state’s $8.75 minimum hourly wage, based on a complex calculation of how much a worker is making in tips. But interviews with scores of workers revealed rates of pay so low that the so-called tip calculation is virtually meaningless. None reported receiving supplemental pay from their bosses, as is legally required when their day’s tips fall short of the minimum wage. Overtime pay is almost unheard-of in the industry, even though workers routinely work up to 12 hours a day, six or even seven days a week.

Inside the hive of the salon, there are typically three ranks of workers. “Big Job” employees are veterans, experts at sculpting false nails out of acrylic dust. It is the most lucrative salon job, yet many younger manicurists avoid it because of the specter of serious health issues, including miscarriages and cancer, associated with inhaling fumes and clouds of plastic particles. “Medium Job” workers do regular manicures, while “Little Job” is the category of the beginners. They launder hot hand towels and sweep toenail clippings. They do work others do not want to do, such as pedicures.

Beauty Industry Schemes

realhairtruth.com

Historically, women darkened their lashes with everything from elderberries to resin, but mascara Products did not emerge until the 20th century when T.L. Williams founded Maybelline. The brand’s popular 10-cent mascara swept the nation. While makeup had once been considered immoral by some, Hollywood  actress’s made it glamorous. Women were promised the sultry eyelash’s of there favorite actress, as in this advertisement from a 1929 “Motion Picture” magazine:

realhairtruth.com

As more mascara products emerged, companies began making numerous claims about the lengthening and volumizing effects of their products. Major cosmetic companies have come under fire for misleading advertising methods, like using false eyelash’s on models.

Even so, the quest for longer lashes has grown into a full-fledged beauty and pharmaceutical market.  “Five years ago, the lashes you had were the lashes you had and you threw mascara on. Today, you’re getting extensions, your eyelashes could always use another millimeter or two, right?

Probeauty (PBA) Would Rather Buy Hair Shows Than To Do What Is Right For The Industry!

Jotovi Designs Inc

The women begin to arrive just before 8 a.m., every day and without fail, until there are thickets of young Asian and Hispanic women on nearly every street corner along the main roads of Flushing, Queens.

As if on cue, cavalcades of battered Ford Econoline vans grumble to the curbs, and the women jump in. It is the start of another workday for legions of New York City’s manicurists, who are hurtled to nail salons across three states. They will not return until late at night, after working 10- to 12-hour shifts, hunched over fingers and toes.

On a morning last May, Jing Ren, a 20-year-old who had recently arrived from China, stood among them for the first time, headed to a job at a salon in a Long Island strip mall. Her hair neat and glasses perpetually askew, she clutched her lunch and a packet of nail tools that manicurists must bring from job to job.

Tucked in her pocket was $100 in carefully folded bills for another expense: the fee the salon owner charges each new employee for her job. The deal was the same as it is for beginning manicurists in almost any salon in the New York area. She would work for no wages, subsisting on meager tips, until her boss decided she was skillful enough to merit a wage.

It would take nearly three months before her boss paid her. Thirty dollars a day.

Once an indulgence reserved for special occasions, manicures have become a grooming staple for women across the economic spectrum. There are now more than 17,000 nail salons in the United States, according to census data. The number of salons in New York City alone has more than tripled over a decade and a half to nearly 2,000 in 2012.

Real Hair Truth.com

But largely overlooked is the rampant exploitation of those who toil in the industry. The New York Times interviewed more than 150 nail salon workers and owners, in four languages, and found that a vast majority of workers are paid below minimum wage; sometimes they are not even paid. Workers endure all manner of humiliation, including having their tips docked as punishment for minor transgressions, constant video monitoring by owners, even physical abuse. Employers are rarely punished for labor and other violations.

Asian-language newspapers are rife with classified ads listing manicurist jobs paying so little the daily wage can at first glance appear to be a typo. Ads in Chinese in both Sing Tao Daily and World Journal for NYC Nail Spa, a second-story salon on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, advertised a starting wage of $10 a day. The rate was confirmed by several workers.

Lawsuits filed in New York courts allege a long list of abuses: the salon in East Northport, N.Y., where workers said they were paid just $1.50 an hour during a 66-hour workweek; the Harlem salon that manicurists said charged them for drinking the water, yet on slow days paid them nothing at all; the minichain of Long Island salons whose workers said they were not only underpaid but also kicked as they sat on pedicure stools, and verbally abused.

Last year, the New York State Labor Department, in conjunction with several other agencies, conducted its first nail salon sweep ever — about a month after The Times sent officials there an inquiry regarding their enforcement record with the industry. Investigators inspected 29 salons and found 116 wage violations.

Among the more than 100 workers interviewed by The Times, only about a quarter said they were paid an amount that was the equivalent of New York State’s minimum hourly wage. All but three workers, however, had wages withheld in other ways that would be considered illegal, such as never getting overtime.

The juxtapositions in nail salon workers’ lives can be jarring. Many spend their days holding hands with women of unimaginable affluence, at salons on Madison Avenue and in Greenwich, Conn. Away from the manicure tables they crash in flophouses packed with bunk beds, or in fetid apartments shared by as many as a dozen strangers.

Ms. Ren worked at Bee Nails, a chandelier-spangled salon in Hicksville, N.Y., where leather pedicure chairs are equipped with iPads on articulated arms so patrons can scroll the screens without smudging their manicures. They rarely spoke more than a few words to Ms. Ren, who, like most manicurists, wore a fake name chosen by a supervisor on a tag pinned to her chest. She was “Sherry.” She worked in silence, sloughing off calluses from customers’ feet or clipping dead skin from around their fingernail beds.

At night she returned to sleep jammed in a one-bedroom apartment in Flushing with her cousin, her cousin’s father and three strangers. Beds crowded the living room, each cordoned off by shower curtains hung from the ceiling. When lights flicked on in the kitchen, cockroaches skittered across the counter-tops.

Almost all of the workers interviewed by The Times, like Ms. Ren, had limited English; many are in the country illegally. The combination leaves them vulnerable.

Some workers suffer more acutely. Nail salons are governed by their own rituals and mores, a hidden world behind the glass exteriors and cute corner shops. In it, a rigid racial and ethnic caste system reigns in modern-day New York City, dictating not only pay but also how workers are treated.

Korean workers routinely earn twice as much as their peers, valued above others by the Korean owners who dominate the industry and who are often shockingly plain-spoken in their disparagement of workers of other backgrounds. Chinese workers occupy the next rung in the hierarchy; Hispanics and other non-Asians are at the bottom.

The typical cost of a manicure in the city helps explain the abysmal pay. A survey of more than 105 Manhattan salons by The Times found an average price of about $10.50. The countrywide average is almost double that, according to a 2014 survey by Nails Magazine, an industry publication.

With fees so low, someone must inevitably pay the price.

“You can be assured, if you go to a place with rock-bottom prices, that chances are the workers’ wages are being stolen,” said Nicole Hallett, a lecturer at Yale Law School who has worked on wage theft cases in salons. “The costs are borne by the low-wage workers who are doing your nails.”

Until more people realize that a $10.50 manicure or a $6.00 tee shirt cannot be the means to earn a living wage for its producer (just do the math)….I doubt this exploitation will end.

In interviews, some owners readily acknowledged how little they paid their workers. Ms. Ren’s boss, Lian Sheng Sun, who goes by Howard, at first denied doing anything wrong, but then said it was just how business was done. “Salons have different ways of conducting their business,” he said. “We run our business our own way to keep our small business surviving.”

Many owners said they were helping new immigrants by giving them jobs.

“I want to change the first generation coming here and getting disgraced, and getting humiliated,” said Roger Liu, 28, an immigrant from China, seated inside the salon he owned, Relaxing Town Nails and Spa in Huntington Station, N.Y. As he spoke last summer, an employee, a woman in her 50s, paced the salon, studying a scrap of paper scribbled with the steps of a pedicure, chanting them to herself quietly in Chinese.

It was her first week working in a salon, she said. Mr. Liu was not paying her.

More to come Next week on This Story!

What California Bill 1513 Means for Salons and Spas on Commission

The Real Hair Truth

About frigging time, say goodbye bye to free labor. People deserve to be paid. Especially for sitting there waiting for a customer. Time is money. The ol trick of hiring a professional and giving them a chair and telling them they have to build up there clientele when they answer a advertisement for employment will be gone. That old trick is history, and should teach salon owners labor is not free. Good for the industry this should keep the owners honest. The industry was built on free labor. Pay back time. How can a professional come to work worrying about rent, food, electric, transportation etc if they work on commission. Salon owners will say I can’t do that, then you shouldn’t have opened a salon. Now I will wait for all the know it all’s to reply. Please do I love debate. I have watch professionals I have worked with in my 33 years of this industry, ripped offed, taken advantaged of, and done so much wrong to they have gotten out of the profession. Its interesting how salon owners can come up and blame the professionals. And assume that with your words that all are alike. “Have to pay people to sit in the break room, on their cellphones, bitching about how they are not busy.” Well not everyone in this industry does what you say. I’m glad to see this, it should have happened along time ago. I love it! Boo Hoo for the salon owners, good for the employees. The employees are what make you. About time this happened, I love all the new ways and new roads the industry is changing. Be your own Boss everyone Don’t live other peoples dreams. You will have nothing in the end. Especially in the Beauty Industry!, Hah!

Note: Although CA employment attorneys were consulted when researching this article, we highly recommend that you contact a legal representative to discuss your rights and responsibilities on this topic. Strategies is not a legal counsel and the contents of this article should not be considered as such. We will be updating this post as more information is presented to us.

Commission salons and spas in California were just given the ultimate “Bad Hair Day”.

With the passage of California Bill 1513 “piece-rate legislation”, the rules have completely changed on how salon and spa owners can compensate their stylists and massage therapists.

For all intents and purposes, the traditional commission model is no longer compliant in California. Strict new laws now require salons and spas to drastically alter they way they compensate their commissioned employees.

And unfortunately, the potential financial impact of Bill 1513 on many salons and spas could be catastrophic. See the full bill here.

What you need to know

Piece-rate vs. commission compensation:

As per the Labor Code, compensation for salon/spa services is technically labeled as “piece-rate” work, and not commission. Confused? Let’s look at the Labor Code’s definition of each classification:

  • Piece-rate is defined as pay “based upon an ascertainable figure paid for completing a particular task or making a particular piece of goods.”
  • Commission employees are defined as anyone “involved principally in selling a product or service, not making the product or rendering the service, and their compensation must be a percent of the price of the product or service.”

Because stylists and massage therapist are rendering services and not just selling them, their work is considered “piece-rate.” Why does this labeling matter? Because Bill 1513 only applies to piece-rate work and not commission work. But again, the Labor Code’s definition of commission is not the same as the salon/spa industry’s.

Big game changer #1…

Effective January 2016, all “piece-rate” California salons and spas must track, report and pay their stylists or massage therapists for “non-productive” and “rest/recovery” time.

“Non-productive time” is defined as the time employees are required to be at work, but are not actively servicing clients. This includes time…

  • Waiting for the next client to arrive
  • Folding towels
  • Sweeping the floor
  • Assisting at the front desk
  • Attending meetings
  • Technical training’s

“Rest/recovery times” is defined as time…

  • On break and meals

In other words, every minute that services providers are in the salon/spa and are not either servicing a client or on break, needs to be tracked, reported and compensated for.

The “non-productive” and “rest/recovery” pay rates must be at least the California minimum wage.

Big game changer #2…

And it’s a biggie…

The law states compensation for “non-productive” and “rest/recovery” time must be a separate pay rate from the rate paid for when services are being produced.

This means you are no longer allowed to average the total dollars paid by the total hours worked and let that cover both “productive” and “non-productive/rest” hours.

Previously, as long as the averaged hourly rate equaled or surpassed minimum wage, all was good.

This is no longer the case.

Big game changer #3…

In addition to aforementioned restrictions, Bill 1513 also contains one final crippling blow for California-based commission salons and spas:

  • Employers are required to calculate and pay back wages for all “non-productive” and “rest/recovery” hours worked dating back to July 1, 2012. And yes, employees have started filing lawsuits demanding back wages for this time period.
  • Or… choose the Safe Harbor option: Valid until July 1, 2016, Employers may choose to pay each employee 4% of their total earnings dating back to July 1, 2012. The state must be notified by July 1, 2016 that this option is being pursued, and full payment would be due by December 15, 2016. Doing so will also make them immune from any future employee lawsuits specifically related to Bill 1513.

An Example…Salon Sacramento

  • Open since 2006
  • $800,000 in gross service sales every year
  • 10 full-time stylists, each paid 50% commission
  • Each stylist works 40 per week, and is 75% productive.
  • California minimum wage as of 1/1/16: $10.00 per hour

Now let’s do some math…

  • $800,000 / 10 stylists = $80,000/yr gross revenue generated per stylist
  • $80,000 @ 50% commission = $40,000/yr gross pay for each stylist
  • If each stylist works 40 hour per week and is 75% productive, this means that 30 hours are spent servicing clients, and 10 hours are “non-productive” or “rest/recovery” hours.
  • 10 “non-productive” hours per week for 52 weeks is 520 “non-productive” hours for per year, per stylist

How this scenario would look under Bill 1513…

  • In addition to the $40,000 paid to each stylist for their commissions on services, they would each be due an additional $5,200 in compensation for their 520 “non-productive” hours worked at the minimum wage rate of $10 per hour.
  • This brings each stylist’s pay to $45,200/yr, the equivalent of 56% commission.
  • Multiplied by 10 stylists, this is a $52,200 increase in total salon payroll.

Salon Sacramento’s back wages due on all “non-productive” hours since July 1, 2012

  • We’re going to round our numbers to 3 years for clarity-sake
  • $52,200 x 3 = $156,600 due to employees if paid in full without using the Safe Harbor Clause
  • Or, if Salon Sacramento chooses to use the Safe Harbor Clause and pay the 4% penalty on all wages paid since 7/1/12, the amount due by December 15, 2016 would be as follows:
    • $40,000/yr x 10 stylists x 3 years = 1,200,000 / .04 = $48,000

Compensation alternatives for California salons & spas

So where do commission-based California salons and spas go from here? One thing is clear, the days of easily calculating 50% for them and 50% for the house are gone.

Here are four employee-based compensation structures for California salons and spas moving forward:

  • Continue to pay commission/piece-work. The big challenge presented here is how will salons and spas be able to afford paying for “non-productive” and “rest/recovery” hours on top of the commission rates they are already paying? Yes, commission rates that fluctuate or are averaged based on weekly sales could be used, but these methods would also introduce substantial increases in bookkeeping responsibilities. They also may spawn confusion and resentment from service providers.
  • Hourly pay: Putting service providers on a fixed hourly rate is a sure-fire way to meet all California compensation requirements, as long as the hourly rate is at minimum wage or higher. However, if salons and spas don’t have the systems and leadership to drive sales and keep staff motivated, issues may arise.
  • Hourly plus commission: Keeping close to the current commission structure, employers could elect to pay service providers a set hourly wage (such as minimum wage), and then add a reduced-rate commission for each service rendered.
  • Team-Based Pay: Converting to a Team-Based Pay (TBP) structure not only meets all Bill 1513 requirements, but also offers growth and cultural benefits far beyond traditional salon/spa compensation models. TBP is an hourly and/or salary program with a team bonus that is tied the achievement of critical numbers (e.g., revenue, gross margin, client retention, productivity, pre-booking, retailing, net profit). Individual growth is tied to overall performance – not just the employee’s ability to generate revenue. A TBP system is designed to reward the right behaviors and performance – those that support the business’s goals and culture. RELATED: To learn more about the benefits and structure of Team-Based Pay, download Strategies’ free Team-Based Pay white paper report here.

As counter-intuitive and debilitating Bill 1513 is to the California salon/spa landscape, it is not something not to be taken lightly. If you are not pro-active in making the necessary changes now, you could be facing state fines, employee lawsuits for back wages or both.

Where can you get help?

Your first step should be to talk to a legal representative to learn what your legal rights and responsibilities are with Bill 1513. They will also have a very firm understanding of the bill as more details and cases are presented.

Your next step should be to restructure your pay structure to meet all compliance standards. If you would like one-on-one help from our team of Certified Strategies Coaches to quickly execute the restructuring of your compensation system to Team-Based Pay, click the link below. Not only will we ensure you meet all Bill 1513 guidelines, we will help you implement a pay program that can increases sales and profits, motivate your staff to grow the business, and provide world-class customer service.

Click here for hands-on help from a Strategies compensation expert.

Note: We highly recommend that you contact a legal representative to discuss your rights and responsibilities on this topic. Strategies is not a legal counsel and the contents of this article should not be considered as such. We will be updating this post as more information is presented to us.

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