Supervisors approve massage parlor inspections
The ordinance would only apply to unincorporated areas of L.A. County; cities within the county could choose to adopt the county ordinance
L.A. County Board of Supervisors pass motion requiring massage parlor inspections to deter human traffickingLOS ANGELES (MNS) — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Janice Hahn that would require massage parlors in the County to undergo periodic inspections by the Department of Public Health.
While the inspections would certify that establishments are meeting health and safety standards, public health staff would also be trained to identify human trafficking and periodic inspections would serve to deter illegal practices.
“It is clear to me that massage parlors in our communities have become safe havens for human trafficking,” said Supervisor Hahn. “They operate with near zero scrutiny and we have seen a glut of new massage parlors open offering massages as low as $15 or $20.
“Workers, often undocumented immigrants, are intimidated into working long, hard hours for nearly no pay. By requiring regular inspections, we can begin to identify trafficking already taking place and deter it in the future,” Hahn added.
The motion, which passed Tuesday, was authored by Hahn and coauthored by Supervisor Hilda Solis. It directs county counsel to draft an ordinance establishing massage parlor health and safety standards and requiring annual inspections.
Staff carrying out the inspections will be trained to identify the signs of human trafficking, including both labor trafficking and sex trafficking.
“The health and safety of my constituents is my number one concern,” Solis said. “It is important that the county takes the necessary steps to ensure that the massage establishments are following proper protocols when serving the community. This is also an opportunity to reduce illegal activities such as human trafficking at these facilities.”
While the ordinance would only apply to unincorporated areas of L.A. County, cities within the county could choose to adopt the county ordinance. The drafted ordinance will be presented to the board in 180 days.