In July and August, most Florida massage licensees received a postcard from the MQA about a change to the massage establishment regulation, due to the passage of House Bill 7005.
This change will affect a small minority of massage therapists. The intent of this bill was to curb illegal massage activity by (theoretically) making it easier to identify locations where illegal activity was taking place.
Below are the changes to Chapter 480, F.S. that become effective October 1, 2013:
Massage Establishment Hours of Operation
Massage establishments may no longer operate between Midnight and 5:00 am.
Certain Health Care Facilities (as defined by s. 408.07)
Motels, Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, and Time Shares
Pari-Mutuel Facilities (In Florida, pari-mutuel facilities is where wagering is authorized for horse racing, harness horse racing, greyhound racing, jai alai games, and cardroom poker games. I had to look that up.)
Operation during county or municipality-approved special events
Or when ALL massages during midnight and 5:00 A.M. are under the direction of a(n):
Medical Physician (MD)
Physician Assistant (PA)
Osteopathic Physician (DO)
Chiropractic Physician (DC)
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)
You may no longer live in a licensed massage establishment unless it is zoned residential (480.0475 )
I imagine this law came to be as another way to investigate and shut down brothel-like “massage establishments” and places that support human-trafficking. If you have ever watched 20/20 or Dateline bust a massage parlor that has “living quarters” in the back of the establishment, you know what I am talking about.
A person operating a massage establishment may not use
or permit the establishment to be used as a principal domicile
unless the establishment is zoned for residential use under a
It does not take long to find listings on Craigslist or other social media sites by individuals offering illegal massage services (by licensed or unlicensed individuals). There are new grounds for discipline for those that attempt to induce, engage, or attempt to engage in unlawful sexual misconduct, as described in 480.0485, F.S.
Criminal penalties were established to for those violating of the new requirements of 480.0475, F.S. The first offense is a first degree misdemeanor. The second and all subsequent offenses is a third degree felony.
To read the full House Bill, click here.