Can Hair Stylists Be Considered Houston Independent Contractors?

Working as a hairstylist in Houston can be very rewarding. You can usually set your own hours, receive decent pay, and also work doing something you love.

Depending on the way that the salon is set up, a stylist may work as an employee or by renting a booth in the building. Typically booth rentals involve the stylist paying the salon a monthly rental fee to cover the cost of the space—as well as whatever shampoo, conditioner, and other products that may be used during a client’s service. The stylist is free to schedule her own appointments and work when she pleases.

Employees of hair salons are paid a flat hourly wage, and then receive a percentage of the cost of the service he or she provides to the client. Any tips that the stylist receives are hers (or his) to keep.

Unfortunately, Houston hairstylists are not always treated fairly. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that all non-exempt employees receive at least minimum wage. Instead, many stylists are facing Texas unpaid wages as they are misclassified as Houston independent contractors.

This happens when a salon hires a stylist as an independent worker, yet still tries to enforce rules that are normally reserved for employees. For example, the salon requires that the employee work specific hours or insists that the stylist perform his or her duties exactly how the salon outlines. Perhaps the salon’s managers require the stylists to use only certain products or tools, or they insist on scheduling the stylists’ time and making appointments for them. Or they require the stylists to perform other work such as washing and folding towels, sweeping the floors, cleaning the salon, or updating the website. Yet when it comes time for payment, instead of paying the stylist for the number of hours he or she has worked, the salon only pays a flat fee for the number of services performed.

Under the FLSA, it can only be one or the other. Either a Houston stylist is classified as an independent contractor and is allowed to make his or her own rules, or the stylist must work by the salon’s rules but be paid as an employee and make at least federal minimum wage and be entitled to overtime pay at one and a half times their normal hourly wage.

Are you Houston hairstylist not receiving overtime pay? Contact the Texas overtime lawyers at Kennedy Hodges by calling 888.449.2068 or by filling out our online form. We would also like to give you a FREE copy of our book, 10 Biggest Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Wage and Overtime Claim, just for asking.