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Spas/Vacation Time


I am a commission based cosmotologist. I am considered an employee of the salon and recieve a payroll check with taxes taken out, as well as a W2 at the end of the year. I work about 40hrs + per week and average more than minimum wage per hour. I am offered 14 unpaid days off a year. My husband is also in the military so i like to take time off when he comes home from 9 month deployments,  and I have a son. If I need to take more than 14 unpaid vacation days per year I am required to pay our salon owner 25 dollars per additional day. Is it legal for ger to do this?

Michelle -

Thanks for your question. This is not a employment practice I have ever heard of. Though I am not an employment lawyer (and you may want to seek one out in your state) at a minimum this is not a good business practice nor one that sounds ethical. The only way I can see doing something like this at all is if you were a renter and you had to pay per day for your space whether or not you actually had any clients.

I hope that helps and am checking with another colleague to see if she knows of any other suggestions! I'll keep you posted if I hear anything. Until then, best of luck!

Felicia Brown


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Felicia Brown


I am available to answer general questions in all areas of massage therapy/spa/salon/wellness business and operations including start-up, marketing/PR, customer service, client attraction/retention, staffing issues, HR, and general business issues. I can also address specifics of most spa services, procedures and general consumer questions.


Felicia Brown, LMBT is the author of "Free & Easy Ways to Promote Your Massage, Spa & Wellness Business" and the owner of Spalutions!, ( a firm that provides business and marketing coaching and continuing education for massage, spa and wellness professionals. She is passionate about inspiring others both in and out of the massage industry with a personal philosophy and practice of sharing her knowledge and experience with others so that they may become successful in all of their endeavors. This practice of “cooperative competition” has been a cornerstone of Felicia's career ever since she became a massage therapist in 1994. She continues to apply this way of thinking in her coaching, writing and teaching. With appearances at many state, national and international conferences in the massage and spa industries, Felicia has become a sought-after speaker and educator. Additionally, she has written for and been featured in numerous trade publications including DAYSPA, Spa Magazine, Skin, Inc., Massage Therapy Journal, Massage Magazine, Massage & Bodywork, Spa Management Journal, Spa Business and Dermascope and is a contributing author for a number of books. Felicia is also a licensed and currently practicing massage therapist, Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and NCBTMB/FL Approved Provider. A past member of the Advisory Board for the Day Spa Association, Felicia continues to serve on the editorial advisory board for DAYSPA Magazine and provides free business and marketing advice in her columns/blogs at, (Marketing with Every Touch) and Felicia makes her home in Greensboro, North Carolina. In her spare time, Felicia is a casually competitive tri-athlete and also enjoys yoga, reading, cooking, travel, and spa/travel adventures of most any sort.

Day Spa Association; American Massage Therapy Association; Associate Bodywork and Massage Profesionals; and NCBTMB Approved Provider

DAYSPA, Spa Magazine, Skin, Inc., Massage Therapy Journal, Massage Magazine, Massage & Bodywork, Spa Management Journal, Spa Business and Dermascope as well as my two blogs and

Guilford Technical Community College - 1988; Massage Therapy Certification, Carolina School of Massage Therapy - 1994; Leadership Greensboro – (Year-long leadership training program) Greensboro, NC - 2004; Commercial Real Estate Broker Training - 2005; Spa Consultant Certification Program – Preston Spa Business Solutions - 2007; Guerilla Marketing Coach Certification – Mitch Meyerson - 2008; Extensive Continuing Education in numerous facets of business, marketing and management as well as various modalities (spa treatments, massage, energywork, skin care) in the spa industry

Awards and Honors
Over her career, Felicia has won numerous awards for her business skills and accomplishments including the 2011 Volunteer of the Year by the American Massage Conference. She was also selected as 2009 Spa Person of the Year by the Day Spa Association and 2005 Small Business Person of the Year (Greensboro Chamber of Commerce). Other awards include Top Entrepreneurs of 2009 and Top 25 Movers & Shakers of 2008 by Business Leader Magazine, 2007 National Volunteer Committee of the Year (American Massage Therapy Association), 2004 Women in Business (The Business Journal), 2003 Forty Leaders Under Forty (The Business Journal), 2003 Best Places to Work (The Business Journal), and 2005 Best Spa in Greensboro (Triad Style).

Past/Present Clients
“I recently had a meeting and an initial consultation from Felicia. She is a very genuine person and highly professional and knowledgeable in her field. Filling out her initial questionnaire alone was enough to make me start thinking differently and initiating changes/improvements to my business. If your massage business is struggling you definitely should talk to Felicia. What a great resource to have (and in my own "back yard" too!)” Roy Alderman, LMBT Alderman Massage "We are a small day spa on the Western Slope of Colorado. We started as practitioners who struggled to figure it out as we turned our practice into a day spa. Felicia has helped us to feel proud of what we have accomplished and has seamlessly become a part of our team. Her organized sessions and follow-up keep us focused and accountable. She brings to the table her knowledge both as a spa owner who has personally experienced both failures and incredible successes. That experience, along with her work with other businesses like ours allow her to provide ideas and suggestions that are consistently on-target with what we are trying to accomplish and at times seem absolutely brilliant. Cindy Donohue & Connier Trosper Main Street Essentials

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