Massage Envy Claims It Improved Sexual Assault Policies, But Has It?

Massage Envy was placed on the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s Dirty Dozen List in 2019 because of the growing number of sexual assaults taking place in their business, and because of poor policies that allow the problem to persist.

Unfortunately, in 2020, we see that Massage Envy is still continually choosing to protect the company, protect the sexual abuser, and place the blame on the victim.

For example, in Salt Lake County, two different women have reported that they were sexually assaulted by the same massage therapist at different times.

According to local news:

The first defendant said the incident occurred on Sept. 11 while receiving a massage from Giron. Court documents said Giron put his hand under the “draping’ and partly under her underwear on her buttocks. Later that month on Sept. 22, the second victim stated Giron put his fingers into her private parts during a massage.

The man has been charged with forcible sexual abuse, sexual battery, and object rape.

Massage Envy sent out a statement to the press saying: “Massage Envy is committed to promoting a safe environment for members, guests and service providers at each of our nearly 1,200 franchise locations nationwide. We urge anyone that experiences anything other than a safe, quality massage to report it immediately to the franchise location so that it can be investigated…We will never stop working to have industry-leading safety policies.”

Unfortunately, it seems like Massage Envy has absolutely stopped working to improve their safety policies. 

Currently, Massage Envy forces its customers to wave any right to bring forward claims against the company, even in cases of unlawful conduct.

[Found October 31, 2019] At No Time Shall You Have A Right To, Nor Shall You, Assert Or Bring Any Claim, Demand, Or Legal Action Against Mef Or Any Of Its Affiliates … Neither Mef Nor Any Of Its Affiliates Shall Have Any Liability For (I) … (Iii) Any Claim Based Upon Any Alleged Unlawful Act Or Omission By The Franchisee Or Any Independently Owned And Operated Massage Envy® Location.
We believe this required waiver of rights imposed on clients is egregious and must be reversed. By comparison, Somatic Massage company includes an allowance for bringing forward claims due to “gross negligence or willful misconduct” of “its owner or employees/contractors.”

Massage Envy has hidden clauses in customer agreements that force women to surrender their rights and many former employees report being trained to do all in their power not to encourage police to show up at their locations.  Massage Envy does not even require reporting of suspected assaults to the Massage Therapy Board and a number of cases against Massage Envy involve prior complaints of sexual assault by customers being made to management and them doing nothing about it, thus allowing perpetrators to continue preying on vulnerable clients.

It’s time for Massage Envy to make meaningful improvements, not just press statements.

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