In June, the Texas legislature adopted House Bill 3579 (HB 3579), creating massage establishment emergency suspension orders and allowing for restrictive massage establishment regulations if a business meets specific criteria.
HB 3579 requires the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) to issue an emergency order to halt massage establishment operations if TDLR learns that law enforcement is investigating the business for human trafficking, sexual misconduct, and other related sexual offenses. An emergency order will also be issued if TDLR has good reason to believe human trafficking, sexual misconduct, or another related sexual offense is being committed at the business. Emergency suspension orders will result in a hearing within 10 days of the emergency order.
HB 3579 also allows a local government to adopt more restrictive regulations for massage establishments than for other health-care establishments under certain circumstances. A local government can regulate the location, ownership, hours of operation, and more if one or more of the following have happened:
- Three or more arrests have occurred, or three or more citations have been issued, for an offense under the penal code that was committed at the massage establishment
- An offense under the penal code was committed at the massage establishment that resulted in a conviction
- An establishment is operating at a location where another massage establishment previously operated and was issued a sanction
- In this situation, the owner of the current establishment can write to their local government to request an exemption from additional regulation
- An establishment is being operated by an owner who was previously sanctioned at another business location
Date Effective: September 1, 2023
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