Category: Consumer/Pro Retail

Beauty Industry Group Sues Over Shop Closings

Newsom announced last week that salons could not reopen yet after revealing that the first case of known community-to-community transmission of the coronavirus in the state, in February, had been traced to a nail salon. He did not give further details about the salon or the patient.

In the lawsuit, the Professional Beauty Federation of California and others say that the order to remain closed deprives salon workers of their constitutional rights and that the classifications of “essential” vs. “nonessential” businesses are arbitrary, among other complaints.

Newsom announced last week that salons could not reopen yet after revealing that the first case of known community-to-community transmission of the coronavirus in the state, in February, had been traced to a nail salon. He did not give further details about the salon or the patient.

The revelation came in response to a reporter’s question about why salons were put in phase 3 of reopening, after parks and retail stores were allowed to reopen Friday, May 8. “This whole thing started in the state of California — the first community spread — at a nail salon,” Newson said at a news briefing. “I’m very worried about that.  Phase 3, when the salons are due to open, “may not even be more than a month away,” he said.  The February transmission occurred, he said, even though salon workers were already practicing protective measures such as wearing masks and gloves.  Before opening the salons and beauty colleges back up, he said, “We just want to make sure we have a protocol in place to secure the safety of customers, the safety of employees, and allow the business to thrive in a way that is sustainable.”

California’s shutdown that went into effect in mid-March affects barbers, aestheticians, electrologists, hair stylists, cosmetologists, and manicurists, said Fred Jones, counsel for the Professional Beauty Federation of California and a lobbyist.

He says that health and safety instruction make up a large part of the salon workers’ training.

In California, 621,742 people hold licenses from the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s laws and regulations that cover people providing salon services already require a number of health and safety measures, such as disinfecting tools and foot spas, single use of towels and robes, and personal cleanliness for workers providing services. Cheri Gyuro, a spokesperson for the California Department of Consumer Affairs, says the board is working on guidelines for COVID-19 that will be made public when they are complete.

 

Missouri Great Clips Stylists Worked While Infected With Coronavirus!

Great Clips salons in Springfield, Missouri, have temporarily closed because of “repeated threats” that came after two stylists worked while infected with the corona-virus, potentially exposing more than a hundred customers, the company and police said.

Great Clips Inc. said in a statement that salons in the Springfield area were closed because of threats it received Wednesday, but it did not disclose the nature of the threats. On Saturday, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced that a second stylist at a single location tested positive and that 140 customers had potentially been exposed.

“To protect the safety of everyone, the local franchisees made the decision to temporarily close salons in the Springfield area. They are working closely with law enforcement officials as the officials conduct a thorough investigation of these threats,” Great Clips Inc. said in a statement.

So far, the second stylist is the only person who has tested positive in connection with the case. The health department said Thursday that 42 clients have since tested negative.  An email to a Springfield police spokesperson about the nature of the threats was not immediately returned Thursday night.

But Springfield police spokeswoman Jasmine Bailey told The Associated Press that the first threat came from a Facebook message to an employee on Saturday. The second threat was phoned to a salon Wednesday.  Bailey said that in both cases, the messages “were threatening to shut the place down” because the stylists potentially exposed people to the virus.

The first stylist’s positive result was announced by health officials Friday, and they said the stylist worked for eight days while experiencing symptoms.  The positive test for the second stylist, at the same location, was announced by the health department Saturday.  Both stylists and the customers were wearing masks, the health department has said.

Missouri hair salons and barbershops have been allowed to reopen after they and other nonessential businesses were ordered closed under a statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the corona-virus. It was not clear when the Springfield area Great Clips salons may reopen.

Regis, Great Clips want to be leaders in reopening process. Lolololol

 

Corporate Employment In The Beauty Industry Leads You Only To The Working Poor.

 

Working in a fully developing economy in the United States jobs are very plentiful.  Any one can go out and get a part time job or full time job with out education in the food service industry and come home with $13-$15 dollars a hour.  You can practically go into any restaurant and get $13.00 dollars a hour to start off with.  Which is good for a lot of people since they are in college or semi-retired people looking for added income.  But in the beauty industry the corporations are making the professionals the working class poor. Never in my mind would I have though these corporations would treat  beauty industry professionals with such little respect and poor wages. So many of these company’s will tell you they are for there employee’s, providing false medical insurance and lack of pay raises. Working for these corporations is the same as working in a sweat shop in China or a Asian nail salon in the U.S.

The chains salons and the franchised salons are pretty much the same when you go for employment. They give you a all caring “Gun Ho” lecture of how important you will be to the “TEAM”, the “TEAM” is the management and owners of the salons that are franchised. A all promising future you will have with there company and how much they care but in the end employment with these corporations they will chew you up and spit you out. Not caring about you as a employee, in here minds they know there will be another coming through the door in a few weeks to take your place when you quit.  You are just a number, that’s it a human body to make money and make you follow there rules. And not caring if you have any family, “Its all about the company”. But in there advertising they will let the public know its all about there employee’s.

If you are new to the beauty industry I would not recommend employment at the following company’s.

How many interviews I have done with fellow professionals who have worked at the above named company’s and have not had good experiences.  People have worked for years at Regis corporation and have not received pay increases. The same goes for anyone who has or now works for Great Clips. These company’s will force there employees to do a haircut service under 15 minutes, and will also time you on how long you take to sweep up your hair after a haircut service.  If these practices they teach and tell you to do are not met they will fire you.  I had a sit down with a former employee of Great Clips and was told to me that there was a academy were the owner of the franchised salon has to send you to learn the computer, hair designing methods and customer service skills required by the company. This was not given to her when she was hired and never got it.  But was required by Great Clips Corporation for all franchises owner to do for all new hires in there salon.  She was paid a minimum of 9.00 hourly and was told she could give herself raises by selling retail and talking customers into washing there hair for 4.00 extra. Most of the time she told me she would work on people who have not washed there hair in days and was filled with hair spray etc. The made for a very unclean atmosphere to work in.  But that’s Great Clips promising and not delivering. Twisting there words into falsehoods to there new employees.  While the whole time banking on your efforts, especially when they have $7.99 haircut specials that Great Clips has all the time.  You make no money but the owners do.

Split shifts were required of her but no compensation for gasoline. Her day would start off at a 10-2 shift and was let go and told to come back at 5-9 shift. And of course she lived in a area that was 45 minutes away, so what could she do sleep in her cat till the next shift. Again no compensation for gasoline to get back and forth. SAD!  These are the new times of corporations and how they make the beauty industry professional the “Working Class Poor”. Working a full time job with part-time pay will get you nowhere in this day and age except into debt.  So letting you know as a customer when you walk in to one of these establishments let it be known to you that the stylist is really working for tips. Because there wages date back take home pay from the 1980’s. These stylists are under a lot of stress to make money, and when you are in a atmosphere like that people are trying to get you in and out so they may take another client who has walked in and is waiting for there service. In that atmosphere there is a lot of “CAT FIGHT” on who gets the next client, and who is up next. People will skip one another for that extra client.  You the consumer will only get a 10-15minute haircut if you go to Great Clips. WHY? Because that is what the company wants.

So if you are a employee of one of these company’s 9.00 a hour times 30 hours weekly gives you 270.00 times 2 gives you 540.00 and then they take out for credit card tips, which gives you a bi-weekly salary of nothing.  They will not give you full time because they will not pay for your insurance. And they will also give you a “BS” story of how much more you can make but it is merely penny’s on the dollar.

You cannot make a living with these corporation. And they really don’t care if you do or not!

 

A $21,000 Cosmetology School Debt, and a $9-an-Hour Job (Part one)

 

When she was in cosmetology school, Tracy Lozano had a love-hate relationship with weekday mornings. Those predawn moments were the only time she saw her infant daughter awake, and she savored them. When the time came to hand the baby to her own mother, she said in a recent interview, she would stifle her tears, letting them roll only when she had closed the door behind her.

She would put on her game face when she pulled into the parking lot of the Iowa School of Beauty, just outside Des Moines. From what Ms. Lozano could tell, a cosmetology license was a realistic way to ensure a better life, and she was willing to make sacrifices. While also working nights at a Pizza Hut, she borrowed $21,000 to cover tuition and salon supplies and put in eight-hour days at the school for the better part of a year.

The amount of time Ms. Lozano spent learning to give haircuts, manicures and facials was enormous, but the requirement was set by the state, and she didn’t much question it. She was determined to earn enough money to move out of her mother’s house. Only a few weeks after getting her cosmetology license in 2005, she was hired at a local Great Clips.  The job, though, paid just $9 an hour, which meant that her days double-shifting at Pizza Hut weren’t over. Even with tips, Ms. Lozano didn’t earn more than $25,000 in any of her first few years as a cosmetologist. For years, she relied on food stamps and health insurance from the state. She couldn’t cover living expenses and keep chipping away at her loan payments. Thirteen years after graduating, she still owes more than $8,000.

What Ms. Lozano didn’t know was that the state-regulated school system she had put her faith in relies on a business model in which the drive for revenue often trumps students’ educational needs. For-profit schools dominate the cosmetology training world and reap money from taxpayers, students and salon customers. They have beaten back attempts to create cheaper alternatives, even while miring their students in debt. In Iowa in particular, the companies charge steep prices — nearly $20,000 on average for a cosmetology certificate, equivalent to the cost of a two-year community-college degree twice over — and they have fought to keep the required number of school hours higher than anywhere else in the country.

Each state sets its own standards. Most require 1,500 hours, and some, like New York and Massachusetts, require only 1,000. Iowa requires 2,100 — that’s a full year’s worth of 40-hour workweeks, plus an extra 20. By comparison, you can become an emergency medical technician in the state after 132 hours at a community college. Put another way: An Iowa cosmetologist who has a heart attack can have her life saved by a medic with one-sixteenth her training.

There’s little evidence that spending more hours in school leads to higher wages. Nor is there proof that extra hours result in improved public safety. But one relationship is clear: The more hours that students are forced to be in school, the more debt they accrue. Among cosmetology programs across the nation, Iowa’s had the fourth-highest median student debt in 2014, according to federal data.

Walk into any hair salon in Iowa and you’re likely to find a stylist making $10 an hour who loves her job but is struggling to pay off her student loans. Over 10 months, in visits to a dozen salons and in conversations with 37 former Iowa cosmetology students — and an additional 25 in other states — we heard a variety of opinions about how much training the profession requires and the financial returns it offers. And we heard again and again how the dream of becoming a professional hairstylist, or someday owning a salon, can be stymied by debt.  The issue is national. More than 177,000 people enroll in for-profit beauty schools across the United States each year, which on average charge more than $17,000 for tuition, fees and supplies to earn a cosmetology certificate.  Across the Iowa border, in Fremont, Neb., Ashley Sandoval makes $10.50 an hour at another Great Clips location. In the five years since she graduated from cosmetology school, she said, interest has ballooned her debt from $22,000 to $29,000. “I’ll be paying it off for the rest of my life,” Ms. Sandoval said.

The Iowa Cosmetology School Association, which acts on behalf of several of the 13 companies that own schools in the state, would not make a representative available for an interview. But the association did provide written responses to questions through its lobbyist, Threase A. Harms. The group said that its primary concern was successfully preparing students, not making money, and that differences in state regulations made comparing hours difficult. The association also doesn’t see the crippling student debt as the schools’ fault, citing the fact that students are allowed to take out more in loans than is necessary to cover educational expenses. “We have students graduating with minimal debt because they made wise choices,” the association said.

Cosmetology schools have a unique business model in the for-profit school world. They have two main streams of revenue. The first comes from students, often in the form of taxpayer-funded grants and loans to pay for the tuition. Cosmetology schools took in nearly $1.2 billion in federal grants and loans during the 2015-16 school year.  The second stream is the salon work the students do while in school. They spend some time in classrooms learning about, for example, chemicals and how to sanitize the work space, but once they’ve hit a certain number of hours, they start working on real clients in salons run by the schools. In full-time programs, going to school becomes a full-time job, where students clock in and out for seven- or eight-hour shifts.

The total number of required hours varies, but all states require some amount of practice with paying customers. In Iowa, students spend 715 hours in the classroom and 1,385 hours on the floor.

Prices for these salon services — which include haircuts, manicures, facials and, at some schools, massages — are typically set below market rates to attract customers. The salons also sell shampoo, conditioner and other beauty products. One Iowa student said he and others had gotten perks (such as trips and special training) if they sold enough products. Another student, who sued a school in Pennsylvania, reported that her grades were partly based on whether she offered salon products to clients.  The schools don’t have to pay students for the services they provide; in fact, the students pay tuition for the hours they work in the salons.

All told, for-profit cosmetology schools nationwide brought in more than $200 million in revenue from their salons in the 2015-16 school year, according to federal statistics. Most schools are small, privately owned entities that do not have to disclose their profits.  “Without the revenue coming from those salons, most of these schools wouldn’t be profitable, or it would be marginal,” said Leon Greenberg, a lawyer in Las Vegas who has examined the financial documents of several schools he unsuccessfully sued under the Fair Labor Standards Act. “It’s pretty much ingrained in their business model.”  Some schools have pushed their business models to the legal limit — and beyond, according to government regulators.

La’ James International College owns six of the 27 cosmetology schools in Iowa, plus one in Nebraska and another in Illinois. Iowa’s attorney general sued the school in 2014, accusing it of defrauding students through deceptive marketing and enrollment practices. Under a settlement, the school admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to forgive almost $2.2 million in student debt. It had to pay a $500,000 fine, and the owners — Cynthia Becher and her son, Travis Becher — had to personally pay fines of $25,000 each. The federal government also placed La’ James under restrictive monitoring for alleged mishandling of students’ financial aid. (The Bechers declined to comment on the suit.)

Lisa Shaw, a former La’ James massage instructor, said Ms. Becher had met with staff members regularly and often told them, “This is a business first, and a school second.”

Ms. Shaw and Bez Lancial-McMullen, a former La’ James cosmetology instructor at the campus in Davenport, Iowa, recalled attending meetings in which company officials spoke of the need to maintain sizable profits. Students were regularly pulled out of Ms. Lancial-McMullen’s classes to work in the salon, she said. Other complaints submitted to the attorney general’s office about the school describe similar practices, although the Bechers have consistently denied the claims.  Both women eventually resigned because they objected to the way students were being treated. Ms. Shaw left in 2014, saying the company’s owners looked at students “as dollar signs.”  “I feel like the school is predatory,” Ms. Shaw said. “I could no longer be a part of taking people’s money and then treating them like that.”  Stephanie Wood Becher, who is the school’s director of marketing (and Travis Becher’s wife), denied that Cynthia Becher would ever tell employees to put the school’s business needs first.  “Education and betterment of the student is always and has always been the #1 priority for her and L.J.I.C.,” Ms. Wood Becher wrote in an email.

La’ James had to open its books during the attorney general’s lawsuit, revealing annual profits that ranged from $1.2 million to $3.4 million from 2009 through 2012. In Iowa, tuition, fees and supplies for its cosmetology program come to $21,500 per student.  Compared with other institutions, “I think we’re cheap,” Mr. Becher said, noting that the cost includes books and supply kits. “We’re private. We’re not public. We don’t get tax breaks.”  The Becher family also owns more than a dozen limited liability companies, which include a distribution center for its salon products. In 2017, the United States Department of Education reprimanded La’ James for failing to publicly disclose a rape in a dorm in Nebraska. Federal law requires colleges to publish annual security reports and logs about crimes on campus, which La’ James failed to do, “exposing students and staff to potential harm,” according to government reviewers.Joni Buresh, the school’s compliance officer, said in an email that the security reports were available to students, and that she believed that the law requiring crime logs didn’t apply to campuses like the one in Nebraska.    She acknowledged that a rape had been reported to the police but said that school officials “honestly are not confident that this rape incident ever occurred.” Ms. Buresh said they had now filed the paperwork requested by the federal reviewers.

END OF PART ONE.