I use to work for Dolce Salon and Spa as a laundry attendant from June 2011 to May 27th 2012. About a month or two before I quit working for Dolce I applied for a make-up scholarship that Dolce gives out to whoever meets there qualifications. After going through the interview process with corporate and the make-up director I ended up being one of the qualifying participants.
When I was going through the process of applying for a scholarship My boss (Cecile Randall) and I talked about if I got the scholarship what did I want to do about employment. I told her I wasn't sure what I should do and I had one out of two options to go to school part time (7-8 months) or I could go full time and be done in 4-5 months. I asked Cecile for advice and she advised me that it would be in my best interest to quit and attend the scholarship program full time, the sooner I get out of school the sooner I can come back to work for Dolce (as a makeup artist, part of the scholarship agreement).
May 23rd I met with Holly Fagen and Christy George (corporate) to go over the scholarship contract (agreement, tuition, payments, failure to keep my part of the contract, etc) and give them a $100 check for school. I signed the contract and received a copy of it and when I'll be starting school (May 29th).
Note: The cost of the school is originally $4,150, under the scholarship contract all I have to pay is $700 dollars ($100 payments a month) and re pay Dolce by being employed with there company for 2 years.
The same day I signed the contract Cecile and I discussed if I had came up with a decision when it came to my employment. I told her my school days are from 9am-6pm Tuesdays through Saturdays. I told her I would like to at least work on the days I don't have school (Sundays and Mondays) if I could get 12-16 hrs a week it would help me get by till I returned back to full time work. She told me she didn't think I could do both, working part time on top of going to school full time but she would see what she could do about the schedule.
May 25 Cecile told me she couldn't work out the schedule and she felt that the scholarship should be my first priority. She went onto letting me know when I sign a form stating I voluntarily quit it will include why and I'm also eligible for re hire. I decided to take her advice and went through with it knowing I'm officially enrolled in the scholarship program and will be done with school in 5 months the most.Money would be tight but since I had recently moved back in with my parents in Queen Creek money wasn't going to be too much of a big deal like it would be if I continued living on my own.
Note: My boss could of easily worked out the schedule working me 12-16 hrs a week but she was so quick to replace me she hired someone that day.
May 27th was my last day of work and the 29th I was suppose to start school. I get a email and a phone call on the 28th from Christy George telling me if I wouldn't mind starting school June 6th because something had came up,something along the lines of a few other people were enrolling into the program. I replied saying June 6th was fine with me, June 5th I get another email and call from Christy saying she apologizes but the girl I was suppose to be partnered with at school was expelled so I couldn't start class till they found a replacement One, I was never told I needed a partner for school at the time we discussed the contract and schooling. I asked her why I needed a partner and if I had to have one because I'm eager to start school and I wouldn't mind training independently. She said since their is a lot of hands on education with skin and makeup it's required everyone is partnered up. Since she was new to corporate and I was concerned at this point about my scholarship I told her to have Holly Fagen (corporate) give me a call.
A few days later I received a call from Holly stating that something did come up with a few participants and that they're still looking for people to enroll in the program. For the time being she said she would talk to Cecile (boss) and try to get me my old job position back at the Chandler location. If this couldn't be arranged she asked if I wouldn't mind working at the Scottsdale location. I told her I would have to think about it because it depends on how many hours a week I would work. If the attendant director couldn't promise me 35-40 hrs a week then it's not worth it because just a little outside of Queen Creek, an hour and 20-30 mins away from Borgata (Scottsdale location). The pay is $8 an hour with no opportunity for raises unless you're supervisor making $9 an hour.
I receive a call around June 11th from Sarah Price ( attendant director at Scottsdale) asking me if I would be interested in working for them. I told her about my living situation that I had moved to Queen Creek. I asked her what kind of hours could she give me, she couldn't promise me anything above 30 hrs a week because it was slowat the time. I declined the offer at the time telling her I needed at least 35 hrs. It's roughly 60 miles one way from where I live, on $8 an hour pay I wouldn't be able to pay other bills and save money, my checks (received every 2 weeks) would be going to gas alone.She told me if I change my mind to give her a call. A week later I tried getting a hold of her because other plans fell through and I wanted to try and work something out with her. I left her 2 to 3 phone messages and she never returned my calls.
June 20th I called Holly concerned about the $100 check I wrote back when I had signed the contract. I was told June 5th when I talked to Christy that since they were having issues with my start date my payment wouldn't be processed till July. I left messages apologizing that the check bounced and I was told the payment wouldn't go through till July. I went on to tell her I had other bills that needed to be paid and I would have $100 put into my account asap when it's there I will let her know. I also asked Holly if I will be able to start school sometime soon. Holly emailed me the next day telling me the company and the school (Classic Beauty College) were having some problems and no longer working with them. She went on to tell me the company is looking to partner up with a different school, as for my payment she was happy it didn't go through and will just do up a new check when the time comes, no worries.
At this time I also contacted Cecile very concerned I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere so I thought I would ask for her help since she knows the owner maybe she can find out what is going on. She emailed me stating Holly and Mel Nuttal (owner of Dolce) are negotiating with another beauty school and soon I will be starting school. Holly contacted me as well saying she will let me know in a week the details after she meets with the new beauty school they will be working with.
July 11th (close to a month) from the last time I talked to Holly I contacted her again very concerned. She emailed me back that day stating she was getting ready to contact me nonchalantly saying plans with the other school fell through and can no longer offer me a scholarship. She went onto say Cecile had already replaced me so I couldn't get my old job position back which I already knew that but when there is an opening she will give me a call.
I emailed her back upset asking what she would suggest I should do and asked if she could give me an email to contact the makeup director hoping she can recommend a good school to check out and/or help me out in any way. Holly did give me the email to the makeup director, I emailed the director and didn't hear one word from her.
I ended up emailing Holly again very upset at that point I felt they were being shady. I asked her again what she would suggest I do, I signed a contract and quit my job in confidence that it was set in stone that I would be going to school full time on a scholarship they gave me. I was not rude to her when confronting her I had added that I hope she understands that this puts me in a rough spot.
Holly sends me a snotty email saying she offered me a job in Scottsdale and I turned it down,she tried to work something out with me. She didn't work anything out with me, For months I've been trying to meet them half way and work something out.
I tried explaining to her in an email that I talked to the laundry attendant director in Scottsdale and that she couldn't promise me 35-40 hrs a week. I reminded her I don't live in Mesa anymore that I live in Queen Creek, From my home to Dolce salon in Scottsdale is roughly 60 miles one way ( 1 hour 30-40 minute drive).
On $8 an hour pay, 20-25 hrs a week, earning a paycheck every other two weeks isn't going to benefit me.I have bills to pay and it's a priority to save some money,I wouldn't be able to do what I need to do if 2 of my paychecks go to gas alone. To split hairs here I actually live in San Tan Valley (a small city outside queen creek & close to Florence). If I drove to there Chandler location it would take me 40-50 minutes and have no problem driving that distance.
At this point I didn't get anywhere so after talking to some of my co workers and telling me Cecile said I should file for unemployment because it's not fair that I have to suffer because the company messed up so I decided to file for unemployment.
In August I had a phone appeal hearing with an unemployment judge where Holly, Cecile, Diane (who I've never talked to) and myself were present. I ended up being declined of unemployment because I had voluntarily quit and declined a job offer even though I had a good reason. I've never talked to Diane Contreras from human resources, Throughout the whole hearing she talked for everybody but I don't see how she can do that because she doesn't know what transpired, she failed to get all the information from all parties involved including myself.
October-November 2012 I saw an ad on Craigslist that Dolce in Chandler was hiring laundry attendants. I emailed Cecile saying I still haven't gotten a job yet and would like to come back to work. I receive an email from Diane (human resources) stating Quote exactly how she said it in her email " At the time that you voluntarily quit you were eligible for rehire, but as a result of your dishonesty throughout the DES process Dolce now questions your integrity and can no longer place their trust in you as an employer; therefore you are not eligible for rehire.This is a direct result of your conduct through the DES process and not as retaliation for you pursuing a DES case".
One, I was never dishonest with DES. I gave all my proof that DES asked for ( written & signed scholarship contract and emails from all parties involved). The only ones who were dishonest was Dolce saying at the unemployment appeal that from my home to the Dolce in Scottsdale was 35 minutes..... that's funny maybe if I drove 80 all the way there, hit every single green light and weaved in and out of traffic cutting drivers off in the process.
The thought of retaliation never crossed my mind, I thought they were being shady but after all that has been said this is retaliation. The reason I say they're being shady is because Holly said to DES that she thought I got fired which would disqualify me from receiving the scholarship. I signed a form and it states that I voluntarily quit, why and I'm eligible for re hire. I never received a copy of the form and I have asked Diane to send me a copy numerous times and she ignored to do so.
I've tried numerous times to contract Diane to explain my side of the story from the time I enrolled in Dolce's scholarship program. I've been civil and patient trying to make some kind of compromise with Dolce but they don't want to make things right.
I still have the signed contract and all emails saved in a file, I will take this as far as getting the media involved and/or taking this to civil court. I'm posting my situation on this site in hopes someone will come across it whether it's a lawyer willing to help me pursue a case against the company and/or someone who had a similar situation with Dolce.
I told corporate I want one out of two things, either my old job back in Chandler or pay me my unemployment if not I will take legal action. I even offered a deal for them to at least give me my unemployment back pay from June till now and I will consider dropping it.
At this point I wouldn't want to go back working for Dolce but if that was the deal they're willing to make I will bite down and bare it. I''m still looking into going to Classic Beauty College obviously not on Dolce's scholarship. I've been in contact with the admissions adviser and she even said that the way Dolce went about breaching the scholarship was wrong and if it were vice versa the company would sue me in a heart beat. I will make sure either way I get some kind of retribution, they messed up they need to fix it and I believe I deserve retribution.