Skip to main content

I've been practicing cosmetology without a license, and now I think I am being stolen from by my boss, what can I do?

Pittsburgh, PA |

I've been practicing for years and had a temporary license, I passed the tests and didn't file the paperwork afterward. A very dumb mistake I know, and the temporary license ran out. I came clean to the salon owner a few years ago and he's encouraged me to get my license and I haven't yet because he's allowed me to maintain working there. I recently found out that he's been skimming money from my commissions and confronted him. He said he can do whatever he wants but I can't, I feel as though I am being blackmailed now because I didn't have a license. Upon digging, reports show that he's been doing this for a long time and also to other stylists. He changes our services to $0 and takes cash from the drawer. Blackmail? Tax evasion? Money laundering??

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4


When you don't have a license to perform a professional service, the value of your services is considered to be worth absolutely nothing. No point throwing mud at someone else when you are already covered in it. When you get your license, you can move on. This isn't the fight for you to pick. Hope this perspective helps!


This is actually pretty simple. You seem to have a WPCL "wage claim" where you can not only collect the actual damages but be awarded mandatory attorney fees. Blackmail is a double edge sword as the employer knowingly employed an unlicensed cosmologist. The parties in employment cases who typically get in the most trouble are the employers. I doubt he wants make a stir.

Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC ("KM&A"), located on the web at, and Avvo make it clear that attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only (i.e. this is not legal advice) and do not establish an attorney-client relationship nor are any communications privileged. At KM&A, we devote our practice to Employment, Business, and Litigation. Employment includes discrimination based upon age, disability, gender, sexual harassment, race, national original, overtime, unpaid wages, military service, among other things. Business includes representation of small business for all types of matters as well as minority-majority shareholder disputes. Litigation includes all types of civil litigation across Pennsylvania. Since an attorney-client relationship has not been created, you must talk to an attorney at 412-489-4162 or to see if we are willing to undertake your representation and on what terms. Feel free to view our Universal Terms of Service:


Get a lawyer and file a wage claim, as my one colleague indicates. For employment attorneys, this is pretty straightforward. I don't practice in this area, but feel free to contact my office and I can provide you with a recommendation in Pittsburgh.

The above answer is for information only and does not constitute legal advice. This answer does not constitute, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Emily Gomez, or the Law Office of Emily Gomez LLC. The information provided on these pages is general in nature and you should not act upon this information without consulting a licensed attorney.


Also, rat your owner out to the IRS for failing to withhold taxes from employee wages.

This response creates no attorney client relationship; consult a local lawyer for help if you proceed.

Employment topics

Recommended articles about Employment

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer