How-Californias-Bill-1513-Changed-Commissions-for-Salons-and-Spa-Workers-ASM-Lawyers.jpg (2149×1159)California’s Bill 1513, originally signed into law in 2015, drastically altered the way salon and spa owners are now required to compensate their employees. Salon and spa owners may not be as compliant (though not necessarily intentionally) as they should be; these changes are causing much consternation among employees regarding their pay.

Classifications of Employee Roles

California’s labor code classifies salon and spa workers as “piece-rate” workers, not commissioned. The reasoning behind this is that the employees render services and don’t just sell them. Therefore, the work is considered “piece-rate.” 

California’s Labor Laws provide the following definitions for clarity:

The piece-rate definition states it is  compensation based upon a determinable amount paid for making a particular piece of goods or  completing a particular task.

Commissioned employees are “principally involved in selling a product or service, not making the product or rendering the service, and their compensation must be a percent of the price of the product or service.”

Amendments to Bill 1513

In January 2016, California salons and spas also became responsible for tracking, reporting, and paying their hairstylists and massage therapists for “rest & recovery” time as well as “non-productive” time.

At a minimum, this time must be compensated at the current California minimum wage rate and must be a separate pay rate than the in-service rate.

Workers are considered to be on “Rest & recovery time” when they are on a break and during meals. 

For time spent at work performing other tasks, (not providing services to clients),  that time is considered “Non-productive time.” 

This time includes:

California salon and spa owners are no longer permitted to “average” the total dollars by the total hours worked. Productive time, non-productive time, and rest & recovery time must all be tracked, calculated, and reported separately. 

Alternative payment methods allowed

Four different compensation options were introduced into Bill 1513 that  California salons and spas are permitted to use and remain compliant :

  1. Commission/piecework: If not tracked and reported correctly, this method can cause issues with payroll. Be sure to monitor your work and see how that compares with your paystub; report any discrepancies to your manager, supervisor, or payroll department immediately and request a correction.
  2. Hourly pay: A salon or spa has the option to use a fixed hourly rate method that complies with all of the requirements in California Bill 1513,  provided it is paid out at the current minimum wage or higher. If the hourly rate doesn’t meet the prevailing minimum wage, it will violate the law.
  3. Hourly plus commission: If your employer has opted to keep a commission structure in place, spa and salon owners are permitted to pay set hourly wages (at the current minimum wage rate) and supplement the pay with reduced-rate commissions for services rendered. Be sure you understand what those rates are before joining their staff.
  4. Team-Based Pay: Team-Based Pay (TBP) offers an opportunity for growth and cultural benefits. This method combines an hourly/salary program with a team bonus linked to such things as client retention, productivity, revenues, pre-booking, and retailing, as a group.

This approach rewards the performance of the entire group.  However, this method is much more complicated to track. Before you join a  salon or spa with such a pay structure, be sure you understand how the bonuses will be calculated and get something in writing that backs up the program.

Help from an Attorney

If you feel you are not getting paid in accordance with Labor Laws, have reported errors that your manager has neglected to correct, or that your pay is consistently wrong without a satisfactory explanation, seek legal advice to discuss your options.

At  Aiman-Smith & Marcy, we focus on employment law, as well as consumer fraud,  and class action suits. Our many years of combined experience will provide you the professional representation necessary to get you the best results.

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Lisseth Bayona


Education and Background

I am a Los Angeles native and daughter of Salvadorian immigrants. From an early age, my parents instilled the value of hard work and education in me and my two siblings. Their perseverance enabled each of us to graduate from college and earn professional degrees.

My interest and commitment to workers’ rights have roots in my parents’ experiences as undocumented workers in Los Angeles. Witnessing the challenges they faced inspired me to pursue a career where I can help individuals confronted with similar struggles. To help someone in those moments is very satisfying. I love connecting with people and learning about their stories. I believe that dignity in the workplace is a right of all workers, not a convenience or privilege reserved for employees of a certain race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Legal Experience

I received my J.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law. While there, I served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Patrick J. Walsh of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, where I drafted a criminal judicial opinion. Also, while at Gould, I served as an extern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. As a Criminal Division Extern, I had the opportunity to work closely with a trial team of Assistant U.S. Attorneys on a money laundering case which further sparked my interest in litigation.

Personal Interests

In my free time, I enjoy urban vegetable gardening, traveling, and spending time with my nephew and niece. I also love to spend time at San Onofre Beach learning to surf, although admittedly, I am not very good.



Hallie L. Von Rock

Attorney (SBN 233152)

Education and Background

I moved to the Bay Area from Washington after graduating high school. I had been accepted to UC Berkeley through a program where I could defer for two years while getting my California residency and attending community college, which was significant since I was paying for college on my own. I began working for Randall Aiman-Smith and Reed Marcy in 1996 as an office manager while taking night classes. My first foray into the legal world was soon after starting at the firm when I was ready to transfer to UC Berkeley. Rather than accepting my resident status, the Board of Regents took the position that California residency required a student to be in California “two calendar years.” Randall and Reed took up my case with the same verve as they helped their actual clients and I got the chance to comb through the UC Berkeley library to read their codes and regulations to support my position. In that experience, I learned what is was like to feel helpless against a big organization and then to have dedicated attorneys in my corner to take up my cause.

After a break to pursue my major in art history, I went to UC Hastings College of Law and continued working with Randall and Reed. Having worked together now for over 25 years, we have a unique ability to work collaboratively and finish each other’s sentences. I have strived throughout my career to make a difference in the lives of our clients. At the end of the day, if I am helping someone to get compensation for losses they suffered, then I know that all the work put into a case has been worth it.

Legal Experience

I have extensive experience in civil litigation and class action cases, including conducting discovery and depositions, calculating damages analysis, preparing motions for certification, writing appellate documents, and overseeing claims administration. We have handled several class actions against retailers where plaintiffs claimed they were forced to purchase clothing to wear to work and were not compensated for these purchases, including against Abercrombie & Fitch, Hugo Boss, Armani Exchange, Uniqlo, Dollar Tree, and Ross. Recently, I was trial counsel in a defamation claim against Bank of America on behalf of a former employee who claimed the Bank blacklisted her with future employers. The jury found Bank of America liable, including for punitive damages.

Personal Interests

Aiman-Smith & Marcy has sponsored me in the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon. When I race, I often wear a “Rockstar Ronan” shirt to support research for childhood cancer through The Ronan Thompson Foundation.


University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1999

Hastings College of the Law, University of California, J.D., 2004

Randall Aiman-Smith

Abogado (SBN 124599)

Aiman-Smith & Marcy. Oakland consumer fraud attorneys.

Educación y antecedentes

Fui afortunado. A pesar de no haber terminado la escuela secundaria o la universidad, pude -aunque con mucho trabajo- ser admitido y sobresalir en una de las mejores escuelas de derecho del país: La Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Berkeley. Mientras estuve allí, tuve el privilegio de ser editor de la California Law Review y miembro del Moot Court Board, asesorando en la redacción de escritos y en la defensa de apelaciones a otros estudiantes. Después de salir de la escuela de derecho, en mis primeros años de práctica, enseñé la escritura legal y la defensa de apelación en la Universidad de California, Hastings College of the Law. También, a lo largo de los años, he sido presentador en eventos de educación legal continua.

Experiencia legal

He sido abogado durante 35 años. He dedicado mi práctica exclusivamente a representar a empleados, consumidores e inversores en los tribunales estatales y federales de primera instancia y en los tribunales de apelación. Me gusta ir a los tribunales por mis clientes y he llevado muchos casos con jurado en los tribunales estatales y federales.

¿Ejemplos? En 2010, fui la abogada principal, junto con los otros abogados del bufete, en el caso Williams v. Union Pacific Railroad donde, después de cuatro años de preparación, el bufete obtuvo un veredicto del jurado de 1.670.000 dólares para una empleada afroamericana. En Rivero v. Surdyka, fui el abogado principal en el juicio y la apelación de un caso de derechos civiles que duró 15 años, incluyendo un juicio completo y tres apelaciones al Noveno Circuito, concluyendo finalmente con una sentencia para los demandantes de más de 2.300.000 dólares. Estos casos ilustran el lema del bufete: compromiso – resultados. Hay que comprometerse con un caso, a veces durante mucho tiempo, para obtener el resultado que el cliente merece.

No siempre ganamos en el juicio. Cuando eso ocurre, el compromiso significa llevar el caso al siguiente nivel y recurrirlo. En el caso Rivero, antes mencionado, eso fue lo que ocurrió: el tribunal desestimó el caso -habíamos perdido- pero apelamos y conseguimos una victoria para nuestros clientes que mantuvimos a través de dos apelaciones más. Desde entonces, el bufete ha conseguido muchas victorias en apelación que reivindican los derechos de los empleados y los consumidores.

A lo largo de los años he sido abogado de los demandantes en numerosos casos individuales y acciones colectivas. Puede sonar cursi, o difícil de creer, pero después de todo este tiempo, y después de todas las grandes experiencias que he tenido, mi parte favorita de ser abogado es cuando consigo dar un cheque a mi cliente.



Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de California, Berkeley, J.D., 1986