Category: Customer Service

Clean Beauty…or Dirty Business?

The “clean” beauty movement is picking up steam. Health-conscious consumers are paying more attention to ingredients applied to their bodies and are looking for products made without harmful chemicals. In response to the demand, some popular cosmetics companies are now offering so-called, “clean” beauty lines. Companies considering joining this trend should take into account the substantial legal risks.

A look at the food industry’s use of the adjectives like “natural”, “clean”, “simple,” and “wholesome” illustrates the kinds of risks the beauty industry may face. When consumers began paying more attention to ingredients, companies began marketing their products with these health driven adjectives. However, this led to a barrage of class action lawsuits for false advertising under state consumer protection laws as plaintiffs lawyers argued that the claims made on the front of the label did not match the ingredients on the back of the label.

The food industry started to use the word “clean” after the use of “natural” resulted in a barrage of consumer lawsuits. As it turned out, however, the alternative claim also resulted in consumer class action lawsuits. The theory behind these suits is that “clean” is just a synonym of “all-natural” and signifies to consumers the absence of any synthetic chemicals. Similarly, it is argued that “wholesome” and “simple” are misleading consumers as to the real nutritional value of food products. This is at best an idiosyncratic view, not backed by legitimate consumer evidence. However, merely making the allegation is sometimes sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss, where the court must consider whether “no reasonable consumer” could share the plaintiff’s alleged interpretation.

Adding to the complexity is the difficulty of placing a sufficiently prominent and clear explanation, or definition, for such adjectives in an unavoidable location where the plaintiff cannot reasonably allege she failed to notice it. Courts have sometimes held that consumers need not be expected to turn around the bottle or package to read textual information on the back label before purchase.

We have seen false advertising claims creeping into the skincare industry as well, and this, coupled with the history of the food industry, should put the beauty industry on notice of the legal risks. For example, just last month, a lawsuit was filed in California State Court against the makers of Coppertone sunscreen. Prescott, et al. v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 5:20-cv-00102 (N.D. Cal. filed Jan. 3, 2020). The suit alleges that Coppertone deceived consumers by labeling certain sunscreens as “mineral-based” when in fact chemicals make up a significant portion of its active ingredients. The plaintiff’s theory is that the headline “mineral-based” claim suggests to consumers that the product protects skin from sun damage exclusively with minerals.

In the “all-or-nothing” world of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, any ingredient call-out or characterization creates legal peril by negative implication. If the label says “clean,” the product can contain no synthetic substances. If the label says “plant-based,” the product should not have any synthetic or animal components – even if trivial in amount. Plaintiffs are routinely sending products to labs for rote chromatographic analysis, and the tiniest detectable amounts of disfavored chemicals can trigger lawsuits. In California, the consumer protection laws include California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising law, and the Consumer Remedies Act. Companies making sales in California also need to be mindful of Proposition 65 which requires warning labels on products that contain any enumerated chemicals identified by the State to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm.

Since there are no regulations mandating the definition of such descriptive terms on cosmetic labels, these definitions (e.g., “clean”) can vary from company to company. The beauty industry should heed caution when using “clean” beauty claims. In order to avoid consumer confusion— and ultimately litigation— companies should define “clean” in a way that they can, and do, meet, and that definition should be available at the point of sale.

JCPenney Is Closing Store’s

J.C. Penney continues to shrink as it tries to beat a path out of bankruptcy. The retailer is in Chapter 11 in part because of a huge lack of sales. A sign that the company was out-sized relative to a diminished customer base.

Following a comprehensive review of our retail footprint, JCPenney made the difficult decision to announce over 150 store closures. Liquidation sales at most closing store locations are now underway. In a hearing this week, an attorney for the retailer said that vendors are holding back inventory as they wait for a deal to be signed and closed.

JCPenney is trying to move forward on its proposed deal to sell its department store operations to Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners.

Sephora inside JCPenney is closed in liquidating stores. Sephora items purchased prior to Friday, June 12, 2020, may be returned throughout the entire liquidation sale at most closing stores. Dates may vary by location. Contact your local store for more details.

Most hair salons in closing stores will operate through mid-August, yet this is subject to change on a location-by-location basis. The company spent so much time over the past 10 years “re-branding” itself that it forgot about the most important piece…It’s associates working in the stores and the customers shopping in it. Sad state of affairs.

Their is zero support of managers from upper management. Your job security is based on weather or not the upper management likes you and when you ask for guidance you are basically told to figure it out yourself.

This company talks about training and promoting within the company. They will go outside the company to hire for a job that use associates within the salon. Very poor company on promoting the associates. Sad state of affairs for loyal employee’s of this company. But you will find out in the beauty industry it is all over like a virus, the way employee’s are taken advantage of. No benefits, lack of a living wage, no insurance etc. I hope they all find good employment.

Independent workers: When do we get unemployment?

Hair dressers, gig drivers, landscapers, freelancers and other independent contractors who work for themselves normally don’t qualify for unemployment benefits.  But these aren’t normal times.

The $2 trillion government stimulus program is supposed to finally give unemployment benefits for millions of self-employed people who do not pay into the unemployment compensation system as full-time employees do.  However, many of them are growing more nervous by the day as they wonder when they will see the money.  Laura Grant, like many people on furlough right now, is desperately trying to reach her state’s unemployment hotline to learn if she now qualifies for benefits. Grant is a hair stylist who manages a six-person salon called Beneath the Crown in Florence, Kentucky. All the employees are independent contractors who rent booths. She’s had no luck reaching a live person in Kentucky’s unemployment office. Every time she calls, thousands of other people are trying to do the same.  Hair salon workers, freelancers waiting for stimulus aid.

Laura Grant, like many people on furlough right now, is desperately trying to reach her state’s unemployment hotline to learn if she now qualifies for benefits.  Grant is a hair stylist who manages a six-person salon called Beneath the Crown in Florence, Kentucky. All the employees are independent contractors who rent booths.  She’s had no luck reaching a live person in Kentucky’s unemployment office. Every time she calls, thousands of other people are trying to do the same. She and her fellow stylists have tried filing online for unemployment benefits but have had no luck because they have no “employer.”  “I was able to fill it out, but in the employer section, I had to put ‘self employed,’ so it denied me,” she said. President Trump and state leaders have announced that the stimulus package specifically provides benefits for self-employed and gig workers, but these hair stylists and millions of other workers like them have yet to see it.  Workers at Beneath the Crown are praying it happens. Until it does, they’ll be facing down looming bills without any way to pay.  “It’s been two weeks and I haven’t had any income,” Grant said. “We all have car payments. There are a couple of single moms who work here, so we are all up in the air and we don’t know what to do.”

Kentucky’s unemployment office says self-employed workers should fill out the online forms anyway, and the state government will “fix the issue at the back end” when the federal money comes through. Other states are also telling independent workers to file, even if the form rejects them at this point.  Grant hopes it happens soon. In the meantime, she’s trying to live by the message in her lobby: “Think positive and positive things will happen.

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!

 

Professional Salon Products- Ingredient Disclosure Victory!

On September 14th, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Professional Salon Products Labeling Act (AB 2775). Previously, ingredient labels were not required on professional salon products, leaving workers and consumers in the dark about harmful ingredients. Thanks to AB 2775, companies that sell professional nail, hair, and beauty salon products in California are now required to list ingredients on product labels. As companies move to comply with this new labeling law, the impact will be felt across the country. About time everyone!