9545 Reseda Blvd. unit 2, Northridge, CA (818) 700-2818

End of an apprenticeship

Hello everyone:)

So I am in desperate need of advice here. This is my problem...

I put in two years under my mentor at a great, well known shop that I really enjoyed working at. I absolutely LOVE tattooing but had horrible issues with my mentor:( Needless to say the shit hit the fan the other day and I was "let go".

So that leads me to the following issues... he says he is revoking my apprentice license, won't pay me for the past two weeks I've worked because he has to do any touch ups of mine that come in the door, has to deal with rescheduling my appointments, etc.. (my check is at least a grand btw)
He has also decided to make sure no one else hires me and is keeping my tattoo supplies. I use a very expensive machine and have a lot invested in my small arsenal so very uncool. Mostly I just want to be able to tattoo still but he promises to ruin that for me! Can anyone offer advice? Is this even legal? Please help!


RE:End of an apprenticeship

Did you purchase your equipment if so he can't keep it because it's yours. 2nd Slandering you to other people could back fire on him don't know the situation but if it's what you love to do nobody can stop you
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RE:End of an apprenticeship

Yes, I purchased the machines and supplies.. can your license get revoked? Is this normal for shop owners or is this completely messed up?

And how would I approach getting a new job somewhere else? I can hardly use him for a reference considering the resentment issues there.. any advice would be great, I'm very new to this business and insight from a seasoned vet would be wonderful!
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RE:End of an apprenticeship

I don't know where you're from.

But in Washington State both Slander and Libel, spoken or written malicious defamatory statements against a person or business identity are unlawful, an individual can press charges in a civil court. The Plaintiff carries the burden of proof in the matter as usual. So it is important that the plaintiff has their facts straight, and can prove actual damage was caused by the defendant. If they are seeking restitution and damages. In this case, he's promising the blackball you and keep your gear.

Also in WA, it is unlawful for a business to withhold employee payroll without written agreement from the employee. This does not apply to independent contractors of course. If an individual or business refuses to compensate an independent worker, that is another issue to take up in civil court.

I should put the disclaimer here, that I am NOT a lawyer. But I could play one on TV.

I'm curious as to how tense your relationship was with your mentor for this to happen. How long it was going on before you got the boot? Why neither party sought a diplomatic resolution before the shit it the fan? Was it a negative experience in the beginning? If so, why did you stick around?

Pray Tell.
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RE:End of an apprenticeship

Nope..its not slander..you said it yourself, artists are self employed with very few exceptions..thus sub contractors. And the other loop hole is that being an appretice isn't actually working for someone...

I personally have any apprentice under enter into a contract..which clearly states...any and all equipment purchased during the apprenticeship shall remain property of the studio until such time that it released in writing at the end of the aprrenticeship...I do this so that someone doesn't come in, have me buy them all the right tools (which they would have had NO clue what & where to buy from, or in most cases even access too without being in a shop)...asnd then roll out and start their life as a kitchen pro. I would have done the same thing. It was said already...this guy (the owner) is going to have to deal with fixing all those tattoos...and other issues..so yeah, I would have kept the check too. as far as black balling you? If you were doing so many tattoos that needed to be touched up? It sound like anything/anyone I'd be worried about working next door? But with me, you would have signed into a no comp claus for 3 years, so that wouldn't be an issue.
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RE:End of an apprenticeship


From a business standpoint you're right. If the shop paid for the gear, it belongs to the shop. Period.
I do have to say however, that I would not like to see a non-compete in an educational contract.
But again, from a business standpoint it makes sense. Catch .22!
On a more a human level; if you're gonna teach a man to fish, you're gonna teach that fellow how to fish.
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