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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??

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

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!

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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

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