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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    2

    Clown Does the groomer pay the bather or does the shop?

    This is my 1st post..I need to ask all you experienced groomers and shop owners about paying a bather. Quick history: I've been grooming for 7 years, the last 6 at the same shop. I get 60% and am considered an Independent Contractor, I pay the self-employment tax, and get a 1099 at the end of the year. (I know this arrangement is not right, but it works). There is one other groomer in the shop (also an IC) and the owner grooms occasionally. We have never had a bather before. Now, my question: The owner has trained her step-daughter to be a bather, and has decided to pay her $5.00 per dog. She wants me and the other groomer to pay her $2.50 per dog she bathes and we finish, and the shop pay the other $2.50 (for large dogs each pays $5.00). In your experience, is this fair to all, or is there a better way? Also, I should mention that the bather does a good job (and is fast), but (right now) does not do nails, anals, ears, fluff dry, or any brushouts, and I don't see it bringing in any additional business. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    248

    Default

    Since you are an IC yes it is fair. And to be honest one can work faster, and make more money with a bather. Not to mention save your body. Wish I could get my dogs bathed for 2.50. Sounds like a deal to me. But that is just me. It sounds like something you need to sit down and do the math, and maybe just do a trail run.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Burnaby, British Columbia
    Posts
    1,209

    Geek Shop should pay!

    In most salons the owner pays the bather an hourly wage. In one salon I worked in as a bather, the store paid the bathers an hourly wage and the groomers got commission. The groomers had the option of sharing their tip with the bather if the bather bathed the dog. The bather got the tip if it was a bath dog. You may want to check, but it may be illegal for the owner to require you to help pay the bather.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Inland Empire
    Posts
    3,155

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kated View Post
    In most salons the owner pays the bather an hourly wage. In one salon I worked in as a bather, the store paid the bathers an hourly wage and the groomers got commission. The groomers had the option of sharing their tip with the bather if the bather bathed the dog. The bather got the tip if it was a bath dog. You may want to check, but it may be illegal for the owner to require you to help pay the bather.
    I believe that is only if you are an employee...since the OP is an independent contracter it's different.

    I think the situation is quite fair! And, you REALLY can increase productivity by having a good bather, no doubt. It's all in how you structure your appts. Not to mention, she can learn how to demat, nails, anals, etc. in time to make you even more productive.
    There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Edmond, OK
    Posts
    1,559

    Default

    Do you want a bather? If you are an IC, it is you that gets to make that decision. If you don't want a bather, you are under no obligation (as an IC) to use one. If you do want a bather (and it can free you up to finish more dogs) then having a shop offer to split that cost is a huge bonus! On the other hand, if you pay the bather, you have an increased responsibility due to the hiring of a bather, which could include the need for empoyer's insurance, workers comp payments, unemployement payments, additional tax forms, the need for an employer number, etc. Since you want to stay legal with the IRS, it is worth your while to investigate this before you jump in. There is a huge jump between being self-employed and being an employer.

    IMO, having a bather can free you up to finish more dogs, potentially making it worth your while to pay a bather. On the other hand, if what you pay the bather along with the extra expenses equals or is more than what you make on the extra dogs, it's not cost effective and you need to make a decision if it is right for you to have the bather. If you are actually an IC who sets her own hours, determines how many dogs she does per day and which dogs she grooms, the decision to use a bather is entirely yours! If you are not actually an IC but are only being paid as one, well then, you have bigger problems and need to get that straightened out. Paying self-employment tax and receiving a 1099 does not make you an IC.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I realize a bather can help me do more dogs, however, the business has not increased, so I am doing the same amount of dogs I was doing before the bather. If I was doing more dogs because of having a bather, then I would be happy to pay her, but this just amounts to a pay cut for me and the other groomer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    6,357

    Default

    If you are actually operating as an IC it is your call to make if you want to work with this gal. But if you are handing her money in exchange for work, I'd sure the heck want her doing more than slapping soap on a dog and rinsing it off.

    As SwissnChow, asked - what are your legal responsibilities in this situation? If you are indeed an IC and you are paying this girl to work for you, then she works for you as much as she is the employee of the owner of the shop. That sounds like some murky legal water right there.

    Or is this girl getting paid under the table in cash?

    Personally, it sounds more to me like the shop owner is trying to finance the step-daughter's pocket money job at your expense. She did the hiring, set the pay scale and it sounds like you and the other groomer were just told, hey, this is how it is.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    5,060

    Default If business is stagnant

    Well, if business is not so busy that you will get to take in an extra dog a day, then it will be, as you said, basically a pay cut for you.

    So I would politely decline the offer at this time based on the level of business, but say that I would be interested in such an arrangement if there are extra-busy days that start occurring.

    And since you are an IC, you DO get to have final say in this.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    136

    Default

    I'd definitely look into this more. Who is responsible for covering her workman's comp if she was to get hurt?

    If she is technically your employee than you would be responsible but seeing you are both paying her, I bet it's pretty gray who she fall under, you, the shop or the other groomer.

    Looks like it's time for some research and discussion.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    94

    Sleepy Use your talents wisely...

    If the owner subtracts the $2.50 per dog from your IC check (vs. you having to pay to bather directly) then I would say its a good to great deal. Take it strictly from and analytical perspective, no "principle of the matter," no emotions, just a cash analysis-- how much time (not to mention hard work on the back and hands) it takes to bathe a dog- based on the average dog (another story if this just applies to the little ones, and you muscle thru the labs). If you make, say $25/hour, does it take more or less time than 1/10 hour, i.e. 6 minutes to deal with a bath? If you make $50/hour, does it take more than 3 minutes to bath a dog?
    I know of a shop that did this, but then they also kept the tooth brushing (how easy is that?) between the shop and the bather, not the groomer. You may wish to suggest then, however, that anal glands are $5 and you do anals.
    I would love a deal like this, but I'm the only person at this one shop, and the boss is great, beautiful, a great humanitarian, and only wants world peace (and another cup of coffee).
    Good luck, let us know how it pans out.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    133

    Default

    ok first let me say if you are a "true" i.c. that has signed a contract there is no way she can make you have the bather bathe your dogs. In my shop if Groomers use a bather they give up 10% but its there choice and they are employees not I.C.'s. My guess is you dont want to stir the pot but you will have to decide will I continue to be happy here giving up some of my commission and if the answer is no-move along. But for someone who has been loyal for as long as you have I would think the owner wouldnt risk losing you? JMO

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