a community of practitioners
Ever since my last post about Massage Envy being sold to a giant conglomerate, I’ve been sent dozens of links to message boards and discussions about ME, and many of them contain references to other work places and situations as well. The horror stories outweigh the good by about twenty to one.
There are a lot of places where massage therapists are expected to do back to back massages all day…one woman commented that she was not entitled any break at all until she had done a full 8 hours of massage. That’s not a break; that’s time to go home. Others stated that they are expected to take no more than ten minutes in between clients. By the time you change the sheets, wash your hands and use the bathroom, ten minutes is gone. No time to just breathe for a moment.
I’ve always received a lot of complaints from people who are classified as independent contractors but treated as if they are employees…expected to hang around for no pay if they don’t have clients, on the chance that someone might walk in the door wanting a massage. And expected to do laundry, desk duty, work health fair events on behalf of the business, scrub the bathrooms and whatever else the establishment owner comes up with, all without compensation.
Then there’s the compensation itself. Most of the messages about Massage Envy state that their starting pay is $15 an hour plus tips. However, don’t get the idea that they’re the only guilty party. One therapist on my FB page stated that her local hospital was hiring therapists and paying them $12 an hour. A local chiropractor in my town tried to hire away one of my staff members and offered her 9.00 an hour. After she recovered from a fit of hysterical laughter and informed him she makes $42 an hour, she said he almost had a heart attack from the mere thought of a massage therapist being paid that much. Another woman on a message board stated that an upscale day spa in Atlanta offered her $10 an hour, and was told upfront that she would be expected to do between 30-40 massages per week. And this is a place where a 50-minute massage is $90! I just heard from a therapist yesterday who does massage in a chiropractic office. Although she was offered $25 an hour, she is expected to wait until the insurance money arrives in order to get paid. Since I file a lot of insurance myself, I can vouch for the fact that sometimes takes 6-8 weeks. She’s been there for a month and hasn’t seen one red cent yet. And is expected to be on the premises all day (at no pay) whether she has clients or not. READ MORE...