On January 27, 2013, a proposed class action was filed in federal court in Camden, alleging that a for-profit beauty salon owned by Gloucester City beauty school “PB Cosmetology Education Centre” is required to pay at least minimum wage to student workers who are required to work approximately 600 to 900 hours, providing cosmetology services to the general public in that salon. The suit, entitled Cinelli et al vs. PB School of Beauty Culture, Inc, alleges that the salon is more than just a way to train students and that PB Cosmetology is actually running the salon as a for-profit business, with the school’s owners charging members of the public substantial fees for cosmetology services, such as $50 for a “perm” or hair coloring. The suit alleges that the School’s depending on free student labor to run a for-profit salon is unlawful unless the student workers are paid at least minimum wage.
The plaintiffs are represented by DeNittis Osefchen, PC of Marlton, which specializes in class actions, including the recently settled New Jersey red light camera class action. DeNittis Osefchen currently has cases also pending against jean Madeline Aveda and Empire is investigating others. Speaking as to the beauty school lawsuit, Attorney Stephen DeNittis stated:
“This is not a case where a school is simply having students practice on members of the public for the purpose of learning. Rather, this school-run salon is profit making for the school’s owners, by charging consumers substantial fees for the salon work performed by these student workers. Unfortunately, the school first charges students over $15,000 in tuition, then forces its students to work approximately 600 hours FOR FREE in order to graduate. The school makes a profit on the backs of these students who are providing free labor. The law requires that where a business operates a for-profit business, it must pay its so-called “interns” at least minimum wage.”