SB 490 Signed Ensuring Fair Pay for Salon Professionals

October 15, 2017

SACRAMENTO ­– Today, Governor Brown signed SB 490 into law, which authorizes licensed salon professionals to be paid by commission, as long as they are guaranteed at least twice the state minimum wage. 

“SB 490 allows salon professionals to not only get paid for their services, but also compensated for selling products that boost the bottom line for the salons where they work,” said Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena).  “It is only fair that salon professionals be compensated for the business they bring to their respective salons.”

In the salon industry hair stylists can, and do, sell products and services while cutting or coloring hair. State law makes a distinction between piece work and commission pay systems that has been unclear for commission pay for products sold in hair salons while performing services. This uncertainty exposes salon owners to potential litigation and it creates confusion for salon workers on what wages they are due because commission payment is for the sale of goods or services, while piece rate is for the provision of services. Depending on how this is interpreted, a salon professional could be required to cut hair or do coloring and be compensated only on the basis of products sold, which could result in little or no pay for the work performed.

“SB 490 not only makes it clear how salon professionals can be paid, but it also ensures that they receive documentation of their wages, working hours, rest periods, as well as a guaranteed income threshold that increases with inflation,” continued Bradford. “This bill is a win-win solution, which also provides salon owners with a clear path for compliance on how they must pay their employees on an incentive basis.” 


Senator Bradford represents the Los Angeles County communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, San Pedro, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington.