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Preventing Massage Therapist Sexual Misconduct

The spa and massage industry is growing in the United States, with more than 214 million services given in 2018, according to the American Massage Therapy Association.

Whether conducted at luxury hotels, at national franchise locations, or in-home, massage and other bodywork is a popular way for Americans to seek relaxation, stress reduction, or relief from pain and soreness. Licensed Massage Therapists also work in offices, hospitals, and other medical settings.

Situational Factors

While massage and other bodywork can be very beneficial, the nature of the service carries situational factors that need to be addressed:
  • The customer is in a physically vulnerable state: often undressed, lying on a table, covered only by a sheet and blanket, and in a state of relaxation. This creates a physical power imbalance between the service provider and the customer.
  • Services can take place in a closed, dimly-lit room, where the massage therapist and customer are the only ones in the room together.
  • Physical touch is a key aspect of the service.

This dynamic between client and massage therapist, if not considered, can serve as a fertile environment for behavior that results in alleged sexual misconduct.

Preventing Massage Therapist Sexual Misconduct

Some say a reckoning is coming. The #metoo movement is not slowing down.

Claims of an unsafe or hostile workplace can lead to lawsuits, executive firings, employee protests, or walkouts. Aggrieved customers, through social media, can target companies that don’t respond appropriately, threatening scandal or even the company’s viability.

However, we see this environment as an opportunity. Organizations that put the right systems in place can give employees the freedom to speak up, create a safe work environment, and earn the trust of their staff and customers.

Imagine your clients saying:

  • I love getting my massage here
  • I feel safe here
  • I can trust that I am in good hands

Imagine your managers saying:

  • I have the confidence to handle crisis situations
  • I have a well-documented, behavior-based report to inform my decision-making
  • My team trusts me to be fair and impartial
  • I am working with a partner in this process I can trust

Redirect Can Help

Redirect can help your organization create a safer workplace through:
  • Code of Conduct Development
  • Employee and Manager Training
  • Audits and Reporting
  • Investigations
“I can honestly say that I have learned valuable skills from Redirect. Everything from how to best approach employees to implementing better practices for training, and I feel more confident in my approach having Redirect as a part of our safety mission. Thank you for everything this company brings to the table.
“I appreciate what your team is doing for us. You guys are doing work that is so important and so critical for us to run a business of high integrity, and you help us figure out when that’s not happening. Thank you.”

FAQs 

How can Redirect help my spa reduce incidents of misconduct?

  • Helping employers develop clear codes of conduct and training programs
  • Investigating any allegation of service provider misconduct in a scientific, trauma-informed, and objective manner
  • Analyzing data and providing insights on employee behavior and what to do about it/how to address it
  • Interrupting problematic behavior before it escalates

What are the benefits of Redirect to my workplace?

  • A safer work environment for service providers and service recipients
  • Fewer and less severe incidents of misconduct
  • More trust from your customers, which leads to stronger footing for your business
  • Better documentation for legal or insurance purposes
  • Handling each allegation in a fair and impartial manner

From Our Clients

“As a manager, no matter how hard you try, there is always a personal feeling involved when it’s your team that makes it impossible to stay unbiased.”

From Our Clients

“Everything went well. Redirect even provided a translator. I like the process being in someone else’s hands to help make the decision.”

From Our Clients

“If I get a complaint about someone who is billing 40 hours a week, am I really not going to think to myself, ‘I don’t want to lose this person?’ Probably not. And using Redirect, it is completely unbiased.”

Preventing sexual misconduct in the workplace requires a scientific, trauma-informed, and objective approach combined with the right plan.

What’s Your Plan?

Contact Us

If your organization is serious about addressing and preventing sexual misconduct, Redirect can help.