Q&A

Reader to Reader: Should you fire an employee for bad-mouthing the salon?

Q.

Should you fire an employee for bad-mouthing the salon (when she thinks no one else at the salon is listening)?

A.

Yes! If you work at the salon then you should only be saying good things. When you bad-mouth your own salon then it makes your guest think, “Why am I coming here if the salon is so bad?”
Stefanie Piscitello
Indulge Salon & Spa, Tampa

No, an owner should pull that employee aside and discuss what she has an issue with. They should come to an agreement. This way the owner has started building an open relationship with her employee and the drama can end before it starts. There are two sides to every story.
Tiffany Ector
Nailtricity by Tiffany, Cleveland

I don’t know about “fired” but I would pull the person aside and let her know that I know what was said and if she is not happy with the salon, then this may not be the salon for her. I would give her the option of 1.) explaining the issues or 2.) packing her belongings.
Angela Williams
Jazzy Nailz, Jacksonville, Fla.

I would encourage an employee to look for work elsewhere if she was not happy. I would give the employee the option to resign and keep her professional dignity and if she refused then I would suspend her pending an investigation. I’d also hope to gain some honest feedback as to why she was not happy.
Sharon McCabe
Cherry Beauty, Glasgow, Scotland

It depends on the attitude of the boss: Would she listen to the employee? Did the client complain and the employee simply agree? Should the boss not be asking the employee how she can make the situation better? I wouldn’t want anyone working for me and dreading coming to work — surely a happy worker yields a happy client.
Tracey Allen
Grimsby, England

Step in and stop the conversation. Pull the employee/booth renter aside and tell her you overheard her, ask her to stop, and have her stay after work to talk. If it can be resolved, great, but this employee must understand that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated; there are no second chances. If she is not happy, leave immediately.
Chris Esselink
Oasis Hair and Nail Studio, Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada


It depends on if you are an employee or a booth renter. If you’re bad-mouthing the business that pays you to work there I would say it makes the employee look bad and might make the client go elsewhere. On the other hand if you booth rent, then I think you have every right to voice how you feel about the environment you work in. You’re paying to work there and your clients come there to see you, not the salon.
Taylar Hillman
Bliss Hair Body & Boutique, Anaconda, Mont.

It depends. She should receive counseling. Ask her why she is so unhappy and if she could change anything what it would be. The nail tech might be a person who complains about everything and does not realize her demeanor is toxic. She should be given the opportunity to change. If she is unwilling to change perhaps it would be in everyone’s best interest if she found other employment. Document everything to have a record so it does not come back to haunt you.
Jeri Wood
Beauty Brands, Shiloh, Ill.

Illustration by Ajay Peckham

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