CASPER, Wyo Casper City Council is considering establishing bylaws and licensing requirements for massage therapists operating in the city.
The board is ready to consider the proposed rules for massage therapy licenses at first reading on Tuesday, September 1. However, council can table its vote at first reading to allow time for more in-depth discussion during a working session, according to city staff.
The draft ordinance says that the objectives of the regulation would be to protect public health and to “suppress and prevent acts of prostitution”.
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“Some companies and individuals use the term massage in fact providing illegal sexual services,” says the proposed ordinance.
According to the proposal, massage therapists would have to demonstrate that they have obtained certification from an approved school or distance education school.
The city is also reportedly requiring massage therapists to take a tuberculosis skin test on an annual basis. The business would be required to have general liability insurance of $ 500,000.
According to the proposal, massage therapy companies should be members of a national massage therapy organization. Businesses whose owners or management were convicted of the following crimes could not get a license to operate in Casper:
- violent crimes at the crime level, including domestic violence
- “An offense involving sexual misconduct”
- criminal crime involving “narcotics, dangerous drugs or dangerous weapons”
Companies would be required to keep a register of all employees. Massage therapy businesses should also have at least one toilet and one trash can. However, the proposed rules would require separate toilets for men and women “if male and female customers are to be served simultaneously”.
In addition to setting out certain cleaning and disinfection protocols, the ordinance would also create rules on how massage therapists and clients might dress.
“Each establishment must provide all clients with clean, hygienic and opaque coatings capable of covering the client’s specified anatomical areas”, specifies the draft order.
In the proposed ordinance, “specified anatomical areas” refers to “human genital, pubic and anal regions or the perineum of any person, or the vulva or within a woman”.
Massage therapists would be prohibited from providing massages “unless the massage therapist is fully covered from a point no more than four inches above the center of the kneecap to the base of the neck.” This coating must be an opaque material and be kept in a clean and hygienic condition. “
“No massage therapist should intentionally perform or touch another person’s specified anatomical areas while performing the services of a massage therapist,” adds the proposed order.
The proposed order would allow a massage therapy business to operate from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The company should list all available services and “the services should be described in easily understandable English”.
The proposed ordinance says the Casper-Natrona County health department could shut down a business if there is a risk of disease transmission. It would also allow the Casper Police Department, CNCHD and the city clerk’s office to enter the business at any time to “make reasonable inspections.”
A group of massage therapists from Casper, concerned about the city council’s proposals, asked to avoid creating degrading regulations.
We realize you would like to deal with the issues of prostitution and sex trafficking within our city limits, but you have handed the responsibility for this issue to professional members of the community to prove that we are not prostitutes, the group said in a letter to city council. We all agree that this is not only demeaning, but also very insulting and egregious.
The very concept that it is acceptable for a government institution to exceed its authority in order to prove that a citizen is innocent of illegal activities is a fundamental violation of constitutional laws and runs counter to all that holds us at heart in Wyoming.
While the group said it would prefer to see licensing regulations established at the state level, it also made recommendations if the council decides to move forward on creating licensing rules. city-level massage therapy.
While the group agrees with some of the rules in the draft ordinance, such as requiring minimum liability insurance of $ 500,000, it opposes other proposed regulations.
The group of massage therapists concerned oppose:
- Require massage therapists to be tested for tuberculosis in order to work
- We think this is excessive and prohibitive for us
- Require a medical examination or doctor’s consent to work
- We think this is excessive and prohibitive for us
- Require a dress code to prove that we are not dressed in a sexy or provocative manner
- It is humiliating for us as professionals and for the majority of us as female therapists. The perpetuation of discriminatory ideas about women’s bodies and clothing as a societal norm of sexual deviance is reprehensible and legally questionable.
- Require unannounced access to offices by city staff, unless there is evidence that a serious crime has been committed or a warrant is issued
- This is a very serious problem because peace and security are important to the practice of massage for our clients. We cannot carry out our work while chatting with you like some other professions could, which causes stress and invasion of our clients’ privacy.
- Restrictions on opening hours set by the city
- For many of us this is a second or third job, and as many of us are working moms / dads, we have to work both according to our clients’ schedules and our own families and / or additional jobs.
- Give municipal staff access to personal client files containing medical information
- We believe that the names of our clients, dates of service and contact details of clients are sufficient
More details of the letter from massage therapists to city council are available in this article.
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