Massage Envy settles allegations it violated Americans with Disabilities Act

MASSAGE ENVY Franchising LLC and ME SPE Franchising LLC has agreed to settle allegations it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it denied a Rhode Island customer mobility assistance, U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Zachary A. Cunha announced Wednesday.

PROVIDENCE – A national massage company has agreed to a $10,000 settlement of allegations it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it denied a Rhode Island customer mobility assistance, U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Zachary A. Cunha announced Wednesday.

Massage Envy Franchising LLC and ME SPE Franchising LLC also agreed to change policies at all of their 1,100 franchised locations nationwide, including five in Rhode Island in Cranston, East Greenwich, East Providence, Lincoln and Providence, to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities.

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An investigation by the attorney general’s office found that a customer with mobility and vision problems at the Providence location was told by the Massage Envy manager that it was a company violation to provide mobility assistance from table to table and told the individual they should bring in a third-party to assist her. The investigation revealed that Massage Envy had a policy that required all franchisees to require customers to bring in a friend, family member or other helper if they needed assistance with getting on or off the table.

“For more than 30 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act has made one thing emphatically clear: places of public accommodation have a duty to accommodate everyone, regardless of disability,” Cunha said. “When businesses open their doors to the public, they have an obligation to make their services accessible, and when they do not meet that obligation, we will act.”

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As part of the agreement, Massage Envy will also report any future complaints and has agreed to cooperate with the attorney general’s office to ensure ongoing compliance and will pay $10,000 to the individual who was denied transfer assistance at the Providence location.

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