Ohio Introduces Modified Establishment Bills

The Ohio legislature has introduced House Bill 81 (HB 81) and Senate Bill 55 (SB 55). These companion bills clean up the Massage Practice Act, remove much of the derogatory language about massage therapists, and add minimal establishment licensing and massage therapist registration. Below, ABMP has summarized the major highlights of the bills.
Much of the language in the practice act allows local township boards to require establishment licenses within the township. These bills would allow township boards to require establishment licenses in “municipalities” and “unincorporated areas” of the township. In addition, township boards could also require a registration of massage therapists providing services at these locations. Much like the current practice act, these bills would not allow township boards to license massage therapists or regulate the practice.

HB 81 and SB 55 would allow the following individuals to work at an operating massage establishment: those licensed to perform massage as part of their profession, such as athletic trainers, barbers, chiropractors, doctors, massage therapists, nurses, occupational therapists, and physical therapists, and those licensed to perform massage through massage therapy schools.

HB 81 and SB 55 would allow trustee boards to include a zoning requirement, designate prohibited hours for massage establishments, and require businesses to post the massage therapy licenses of those working in the establishment. They could prohibit massage establishments from refusing inspections, operating during prohibited hours, and employing anyone under the age of 18.

All language in the current practice act regarding touching sexual areas and wearing clothing that encourages sexual activity has been removed from the act. In addition, references to masseur or masseuse have also been removed. HB 81 and SB 55 would allow massage “of reproductive organs, perineum, rectum, or anus,” but only with a prescription or under supervision of a doctor.

The current practice act fees apply to all establishment licenses: $250 for filing fee and annual renewal fee of $125.

Lastly, the bills revise the exemptions from requiring a massage therapy license to those already licensed, those currently in a massage therapy program, and reflexologists who hold a certification issued by the Reflexology Certification Board.

There is a hearing on SB 55 in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. ET. If you have comments you would like to make about the bill, we encourage you to email Health Committee members: Senators Huffman, Antani, Antonio, Johnson, Roegner, Romanchuk, and Thomas. Or, you can contact each senator through the Health Committee page by clicking on their profiles.
We encourage you to use this easy-to-follow advocacy email template courtesy of ABMP to voice your opinion. Simply fill out the email template with the appropriate information and send this to the committee members.

If you have questions or concerns, email us at gr@abmp.com.