A recent news story shows that the massage spa chain Massage Envy, which has almost 1,200 locations across the country, is now facing hundreds of allegations of sexual assault. Furthermore, the chain is now facing claims that they mishandled or outright ignored allegations when they arose.
Allegations of sexual assault could not only impact someone’s career but could also carry with it significant penalties that will land you with a criminal record. In addition, a victim who has been harmed in a situation like this may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit if damages were sustained.
A Buzzfeed news investigation shows that a minimum of 180 people have already initiated sexual assault civil suits against the franchise, and there have been reports of countless complaints to state boards and police.
It is said that Massage Envy uses a standard model for hiring and training, but many argue that their procedures are not enough to prevent sexual assault or to respond appropriately when problems like this arise. It has been reported that the company does not require their employees to notify police of sexual assault complaints (except where such reports are required by local laws), instead, they encourage internal investigations for such allegations, but they provide little to no training on how to conduct them.
Allegations of sexual assault in the workplace, whether from one employee to another or from an employee to customers, should be taken seriously by the person who receives the report. However, if there is no clear procedure in place to capture claim details or to follow-up on these allegations, then victims are rendered powerless while the company involved might not even realize the true scope of the situation.
For example, a massage therapist working for the company pled guilty to assault of nine women at a Massage Envy location in Pennsylvania in 2014 and 2015. According to Massage Envy, violation of their zero-tolerance policy by any therapist requires immediate termination. However, the Buzzfeed news investigation shows that some franchises have maintained therapists on staff despite multiple complaints of misconduct raised by customers. Others have fired the accused therapists but never reported the official offenses, allowing that therapist to move on to a new location without any history.
If you or a loved one have been subjected to sexual assault and abuse, or have otherwise been harmed by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to sue and obtain compensation for the heinous acts that were committed by the defendants. To set up a consultation with experienced attorney Mark A. Smith call (412) 567-9598 or fill out the online contact form to get started today. You will be able to speak directly with Attorney Smith, who will listen, assess your claims, and work with you to determine a way forward.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.