MADIGAN ISSUES SUBPOENAS TO MASSAGE ENVY SPA CHAIN
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today issued subpoenas to the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based franchisor Massage Envy and four of its Illinois-based franchisees as part of an investigation into claims the spa chain failed to handle sexual assault allegations by customers appropriately.
Madigan's office is investigating Massage Envy and its Illinois franchisees at certain locations in Chicago, Elmhurst, Naperville and Tinley Park following public reports of women alleging they were sexually assaulted by male massage therapists. Through the subpoenas, Madigan is seeking information about the company's policies, employee training, and handling of complaints related to sexual assault and sexually inappropriate behavior.
"I appreciate the women who have reported the sexual assaults they experienced during their massages," Madigan said. "I issued subpoenas to Massage Envy because the public has a right to know what Massage Envy's policies are and what steps the company takes to prevent and address sexual assaults."
Madigan's investigation into Massage Envy's sexual assault policies comes as women around the country are coming forward to report instances of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Earlier this week, an investigation by Buzzfeed News found that more than 180 women throughout the country alleged that they were sexually assaulted during services at Massage Envy spas. Despite multiple lawsuits, police reports and complaints by women, Buzzfeed found that many claims were mishandled, and the company's policies and procedures for reporting and addressing sexual assault allegations were vague or unclear.
According to its website, Massage Envy has more than 1,170 franchised locations in 49 states that employ approximately 25,000 massage therapists and estheticians that provide massage and skin care services to around 1.65 million members.
Assistant Attorney General Cassandra Halm is handling the case for Madigan's Franchise and Consumer Fraud Bureaus.