Massage therapists are trained to provide professional therapy and healing modalities in a safe and ethical manner. Mangers of massage businesses often take the side of the customer in situations where there is any form of dispute. However, if the customer makes unethical demands from the massage therapist, this can violate the rights of the therapist as a worker.
The perception that massage therapists are more open to providing sexual contact to customers is both false and widespread. This behavior could constitute a hostile working environment. In these cases, the massage therapist should consider seeking legal remedies. Leeds Brown Law provides expert legal services for anyone experiencing sexual harassment in the massage therapy industry.
Massage Therapists, Legal Rights
Workers in service industries often rely on tips to make a decent income. This can also create an environment where bosses and customers believe that sexual conduct is more permissible. Massage therapists work in an industry where abuse is widespread, so therapists need to be able to know and assert their rights under the law. This includes the right to a workplace free from sexual harassment. There are two distinct types of harassment that may occur in the massage therapy industry. The first is quid pro quo, and the second is the hostile work environment.
Hostile Work Environment, Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Quid pro quo harassment usually comes from a person in a position of authority. The basis for this harassment is the idea that the employee should perform sexual favors in return for some kind of benefit. It can also be framed another way; the favor could simply postpone some sort of punishment or retaliation. This puts the employee in an impossible situation. If the HR department is unresponsive, you should talk with a sexual harassment lawyer right away.
The other form of harassment is known as the hostile work environment. The power dynamic between the perpetrator and the victim might be relatively equal in some of these cases. For example, a co-worker might make inappropriate comments repetitively. If you make a complaint to your boss and the HR department, and nothing changes, this could indicate that a culture of permissiveness is in place. Talk with an experienced employment law attorney if this is the case.
In a hostile work environment, the people who are able to address the situation are unable or unwilling to do it. This includes sexually suggestive comments and jokes in group meetings, for example. This can be devastating because this is designed to cause humiliation and intimidation. It can also open the door to additional abuses if nothing is done. Speak with a sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible to prevent harmful escalations while learning how to develop and document these incidents. Our firm can help you to act according to the best strategies, and this can help you to win in court.
Contacting Leeds Brown Law Firm
The scope of practice for massage therapists is clear. Therapists studied hard and passed license examinations in order to provide professional therapeutic services to the general public. Being treated as a sex worker is a shocking and humiliating experience for many of these professionals. Our legal team can help you to understand and protect your rights under the law. Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal, and you have the right to seek fair compensation if you experienced job loss, retaliation and other tangible forms of harm as a result of the harassment.
Punitive damages might also be awarded if the court finds that this could help to prevent the perpetrator from committing this offense in the future. Taking action right away can help with your case. Our lawyer will review the details and advise you on the merits of applying either the federal Title VII code or the Human Rights Law codes that apply at the state and city level, for example. Contact Leeds Brown Law for a free legal consultation.