SAN FRANCISCO — A group of hair salon workers have petitioned a federal court in California for approval of the settlement of their wage suit against Regis Corp. in the amount of $5.75 million. The workers covered by the settlement would include stylists employed by Regis in California from May 2010 through the date when the court approves the agreement, other Regis employees in California during that same time, and members of either of the first two groups who stopped working for the company at the time. Under the agreement, the three named plaintiffs would share $15,000 in service awards, the settlement administrator would receive $50,000, and each class member who separated company would get $150. The plaintiff’s attorneys would collect $1.9 million, and the overall putative class of approximately 5,573 individuals would share the remaining funds on a prorated basis, minus $20,000 in penalties going to various state funds.
The workers initially filed suit claiming that Regis violated California labor laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to pay minimum and overtime wages. According to the suit, Regis failed to pay its commission-paid stylists for time spent performing job duties for which they did not earn commission pay, including duties like cleaning the salon, organizing product displays, doing laundry, folding towels, wiping down shelves, answering customer telephone calls, setting appointments, greeting customers, and cleaning the bathroom.
Under FLSA, if the commission earned by the stylists does not equal or exceed the federal minimum wage for the hours they have worked in a two-week period, employers are responsible for making up the difference. Additionally, FLSA provides an exemption for commissioned employees from overtime. However, in order to meet the requirements of the exemption, the employee must:
- Be employed by a retail or service establishment
- Be paid at a rate of one and one-half times the applicable minimum wage for every hour worked in a workweek in which overtime hours are worked
- Must earn more than half of his or her earnings in a representative period from commissions.
Meal and Rest Breaks
The Regis employees who filed suit also alleged that Regis failed to provide meal and rest periods. The California Labor Code requires employers to provide employees with at least a thirty-minute meal break if they work more than five hours per day. If the employee works more than ten hours per day, then employers are generally required to provide a second thirty-minute meal period. During this meal period, the employer must relieve employees of all duties, relinquish control over their activities, and allow them a reasonable opportunity to take an uninterrupted 30-minute break in which they are free to come and go as they please. If the employer fails to relinquish control and, for example, requires employees to remain on the premises during the meal period, they are entitled to compensation for the meal period.
Employers in California are required to provide certain covered employees with a net 10-minute rest period for every four hours worked. As much as possible, this rest period must be in the middle of the four-hour work period. If the employer fails to provide this rest period, then he or she must pay employees one additional hour of pay for each workday that the rest period is not provided.
If you or someone you know is a commissioned employee that is being deprived of minimum wage or overtime, you should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.