Our attorneys are conducting a Massage Envy investigation of allegations that at least 180 sexual assaults have taken place at one of the nation’s largest massage spa franchises. A Buzzfeed investigation found Massage Envy fostered a culture in which complaints of sexual harassment and assault were either ignored or concealed. Many Massage Envy sexual assault civil lawsuits have already been filed.
Buzzfeed Investigation: Massage Envy’s Cursory Investigations into Massage Therapists' Sexual Misconduct
According to an investigation by Buzzfeed News, over 180 people have filed sexual assault lawsuits, police reports, and state board complaints against Massage Envy spas, their employees, and the national company. Many women said that their claims were mishandled by the national Massage Envy company, as well as the individual spas themselves. Over 100 women reported that Massage Envy therapists groped their genitals, breasts, or committed other explicit violations.
Buzzfeed News reports that “the company’s policies on reporting improper conduct do more to protect the company brand than to ensure customer complaints are handled appropriately,” with many complaints “brushed aside” and “offending therapists have been allowed to keep their professional standing with no consequences.” Except in the few states where local laws require reporting, the national Massage Envy company allegedly does not require its locations to file charges with law enforcement or state regulatory boards. The company reportedly tells franchisees that they must investigate claims but provides them “almost no guidance” on how to do so. According to one former Massage Envy employee, the company’s review policy is “not in place to protect the client.” Instead, I is “centered around defusing the situation so the client doesn’t call the police. You don’t want cop cars showing up at your location the next day.”
The Buzzfeed report states that Massage Envy corporate says it isn’t liable for sexual assaults taking place at its spas because the spas are individually franchised, and the spas control their day-to-day operations. However, Massage Envy reportedly trains employees in its policies, sets operational standards, and monitors the progress of internal investigations. According to Buzzfeed, Massage Envy’s 2017 policy states that in “certain situations” a franchisee “should consider” reporting an incident to local authorities.