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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Protecting the Rights of Massage Parlor Workers


Across the United States, local laws and federal immigration policy combine to produce a situation where massage parlor workers, who are predominately female, are left unprotected, which can result in exploitation through a trifecta of wage theft, deportation threat, and sexual harassment. Failing to recognize the differences in the types of massage parlors and masseuses, the current broad-brush legislative approach to regulation is inadequate and does not properly address worker conditions. New legislation is needed to provide legal protection to masseuses.

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