Lawsuit Alleges Co-Worker Groped Massage Therapist During Appointment

A former massage therapist at Massage Envy in Dallas has filed a lawsuit against the company, her alleged attacker, and the franchisee that owns and operates the location where the incident occurred. The lawsuit claims that the massage therapist, who wishes to remain anonymous, was sexually assaulted by a male co-worker during a massage appointment she had booked to treat her upper neck and back pain. According to the suit, the co-worker “slid his hands under her underwear” and groped her during the session.

5 Key Points

  • The alleged victim, a former Massage Envy employee in Dallas, claims a male co-worker sexually assaulted her during a massage appointment she had booked to treat her pain.
  • The lawsuit alleges that the massage therapist slid his hands under the victim’s underwear and groped her, which is a zero-tolerance offense according to Massage Envy’s policies and requires immediate termination.
  • Despite the incident, Massage Envy allegedly allowed the accused to continue working after undergoing additional training. They relocated him to another location in Fort Worth, where he worked until he was fired.
  • The alleged victim has hired attorney Anna Greenberg, who represents several alleged assault victims against Massage Envy across the state of Texas.
  • The lawsuit names Massage Envy, the alleged attacker, and the franchisee that owns and operates the location where the incident occurred, seeking to hold them accountable for the alleged assault and the company’s response.

The Emotional and Professional Impact on the Alleged Victim

In an interview with WFAA, the alleged victim described the emotional and professional toll the incident has taken on her life. She expressed feeling trapped and unable to continue working in the job she loves due to the trauma she experienced. “Every time I would go back into those rooms…I felt like I did every single time; I felt like I did that day,” she said through tears. “Like I’m trapped, and I’m trapped too because I need my job.” The emotional distress and fear of returning to work eventually led her to make the difficult decision to quit her job at Massage Envy.

Massage Envy’s Alleged Mishandling of the Incident

The lawsuit claims that Massage Envy failed to take appropriate action in response to the alleged sexual assault. Instead of immediately terminating the accused massage therapist, as required by the company’s zero-tolerance policy for working under undergarments, Massage Envy allegedly allowed him to continue working. The company reportedly provided him with additional training and relocated him to another location in Fort Worth, where he continued to work until he was later fired for undisclosed reasons. This alleged mishandling of the incident raises serious concerns about Massage Envy’s commitment to protecting its clients and employees from sexual misconduct.

The Need for Accountability and Systemic Change

By filing this lawsuit and sharing her story, the alleged victim and her attorney, Anna Greenberg, aim to hold Massage Envy accountable for its alleged failure to protect its employees and clients from sexual assault. “They let him continue to operate unchecked,” Greenberg told WFAA. “It’s time Massage Envy stops protecting its brand and the predators and starts protecting its clients.” The case highlights the need for systemic change in how the company handles sexual assault allegations and prioritizes the safety and well-being of its employees and clients.

The Importance of Speaking Out and Seeking Justice

The alleged victim’s decision to come forward and share her story, despite the emotional challenges, underscores the importance of speaking out against sexual assault and seeking justice. By taking legal action, she not only seeks to hold her alleged attacker and Massage Envy accountable but also aims to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual misconduct in the massage therapy industry. Her courage in sharing her experience may inspire other survivors to come forward and demand change, ultimately contributing to a safer environment for massage therapists and clients.

As the lawsuit progresses, it will likely shed further light on Massage Envy’s policies and practices regarding sexual assault allegations and employee safety. The outcome of this case may have significant implications for the company and the massage therapy industry as a whole, potentially leading to improved training, stricter enforcement of policies, and a greater emphasis on preventing and addressing sexual misconduct in the workplace.