Massage Therapists in Texas are regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Massage therapy is considered a health care service when the massage is for therapeutic purposes, and in Texas, a licensed massage therapist may receive referrals from a physician to administer massage therapy.
Beyond Massage Therapy, the TDLR administrates over forty other programs in Texas, such as podiatry, cosmetologists, and dieticians. Patients, clients, and the general public may lodge complaints against licensees of the TDLR, and the agency investigates all instances of alleged misconduct. According to the TDLR Annual Report for FY 2018, the program with the most complaints in FY 2018 was Massage Therapy.
Complaints Against Massage Therapists TX
In FY 2018, 1,432 total alleged violations were filed with the TDLR against Massage Therapists, Massage Establishments, and other entities regulated under the Massage Therapy program. From those complaints, 985 cases were opened for further investigation.
The percent of Massage Therapy complaints that resulted in disciplinary actions against the licensee in FY 2018 was $15.6%. This means that if you are a licensed massage therapist in Texas and a complaint is filed against you; there is nearly a 1 in 6 chance that you will ultimately face disciplinary action. The TDLR is empowered to take a number of disciplinary actions against its licensees, including license suspension or revocation, mandating further education, public reprimand, and imposing administrative fines.
The primary cause of complaints against massage therapists was based on allegations of sexual misconduct. Under the Code of Ethics, massage therapists "shall not engage in sexual contact during a session with a client." 16 Tex. Admin. Code §117.92(a). There were 305 allegations of sexual misconduct filed with the TDLR against massage therapists in FY 2018, and 37 allegations of sexual assault.
Another predominant reason for complaints is based on criminal history. In FY 2018, 240 complaints based on criminal history were filed, and 24 licenses were denied or revoked based on criminal history.
Also, complaints alleging unlicensed activity are prevalent. In FY 2018 there were 343 complaints against unlicensed establishments. This is quite a staggering number considering that the TDLR licensed only 2,100 massage establishments in FY 2018. There were 121 complaints filed against unlicensed therapists.
There were dozens of reasons complaints were lodged against massage therapists and other entities licensed by the TDLR under this program. Other leading reasons for complaints included allegations of sanitation issues, ethics violations, fraud, incompetence, improper technique, advertising violations, and failure to provide the mandatory initial consultation document.
Defending Against a Complaint Filed with the TDLR
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We have experienced TDLR license defense attorneys, and we know how to navigate the Agency's complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license.
Our Firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced TDLR license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board or state agency, contact us today or call 512-717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.