Massages are supposed to help reduce stress and allow people to relax and unwind. Unfortunately, that is not what happened for four women who were sexually assaulted at four separate New Jersey Massage Envy locations. The following are the latest accusations in a growing group of massage clients who have alleged abuse at the chain nationwide. Allegations range from inappropriate touching and groping to sexual assault and molestation.
A Horrific History
In a suit filed in Middlesex County Superior Court, the women allege that the therapists at Massage Envy groped and penetrated them during massages. The complaint filed also cites Massage Envy stores in Mays Landing, Piscataway, Short Hills, and Closter.
The lawsuit lists nearly 200 allegations of assault by Massage Envy operators across the country. They say that the billion-dollar company, with 1,200 locations nationwide, has a history of documenting these horrific allegations and are not reporting them to the proper authorities, discouraging victims from coming forward to report as well.
The lawsuit has accused Massage Envy of deceiving the public and hiding the dangers of its services. Additionally, the franchise continued to employ those accused of such allegations, transferring them to other store locations rather than terminating their employment. The lawsuit also accuses Massage Envy of conducting fake investigations to deter finding information of assault.
Last year, an investigation, conducted by Buzzfeed, revealed that more than 180 women had made claims of assault against the chain nationwide. These New Jersey lawsuits come on the heels of 16 women in California and Florida with similar accusations. Locally, a Chester County massage therapist pled guilty to the assault of nine women, and the West Chester, Pennsylvania location became the subject of attention, when it was investigated revealing a gross pattern of mistreatment last year.
Attorneys are anticipating filing additional lawsuits on behalf of individuals in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Massachusetts, and have received similar complaints from those in South Carolina, Texas, New Mexico, Illinois, and New York. Though the Massage Envy CEO has come forward emphasizing that one incident would be one too many, the number of allegations, if proven, tell a completely different tale. The company is currently working with the Rape, Abuse & Incest Nation Network (RAINN) to review and assess its policies, many of which were established in late 2017 after the Buzzfeed investigation compelled much attention.
Middletown Sexual Harassment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Those Harmed by Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment is a horrible crime not to be taken lightly. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, the Middletown sexual harassment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. are here to help you seek the justice that you deserve.
Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.