I work in a hair salon and make commission (50/50) for every client I have and 10% on sales. There are many days I am at the salon and do not take on any clients or make any sales. I work 45+ hours a week and get paid once a month. As a new hairstylist, my paychecks are pretty low, but since I am W-2, shouldn't I be making at least minimum wage?
This is a very good question. Generally, as an employee, you are subject to the minimum wage requirements. There are exemptions for this - including if you work as an "outside sales employee." This exemption only applies, however, if most of your job is seeking sales outside the place of employment. From your description, it sounds like you work exclusively within the salon.
Without more information, I can think of no other exemption that would apply to your situation. Accordingly, you should receive at least minimum wage for your hours worked. It is legal to pay you exclusively on a commission basis but the commission must be sufficient to meet the minimum hourly wage. This may be a misunderstanding on the part of the employer. I would suggest you consult with an attorney if you are uncomfortable addressing this with your employer. There are protections for employees that ask questions about their wages but you may want to better understand your rights before bringing up the topic.
The response I have provided does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Legal advice requires the assessment of all facts and circumstances and I likely do not possess all of this information in providing my response. Accordingly, please consider my response as general guidance and you should contact myself or another attorney for a complete review of your situation.
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