I have a friend who is a hair stylist in California. She is paid on a commissioned basis; her employer takes a minimal fee off the top of her haircut price as a "product fee", then takes 55% of the remaining cost of the service, she gets 45%. Essentially, this employee is only earning money when there is a client in her chair getting a haircut.
Now, because the employer is trying to save money on hourly staff, they are now trying to state that manual labor, including cleaning the salon and laundry, is "part of her job". When hired, the understanding was these services were to be provided per the employer taking 55% of the revenue generated for the service (plus the product fee).
This work can only be done when the stylist does not have a client, therefore they are not being "paid" for this labor, as they earn no money if they have no clients. It seems to me that this employer is trying to have the best of both worlds; they classify this person as an "employee", require them to be at work for certain hours, and attempt to extort additional labor out of them. Then, they pay them only when there is a client in their chair - but don't allow them to leave if they have no clients, and require manual labor when they are not with a client. This seems wrong.
Can the employer require this work? This was not the understanding at time of hire, but has come as a result of the employer trying to get someone to do this work without having to pay additional staff.
This person may be being taken advantage of and needs to know what the legal boundaries are, please help!