New Auburn regulations button up on-the-job massage garb, activity

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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New massage business rules in Auburn designed to block prostitution will be in place by early August.

And those rules include specific instructions on what people employed in the massage industry within city limits are allowed to wear on the job.

That means massage therapists can’t got to work with see-through clothing or swim attire, according to new rules approved by the city this past week.

The city’s regulations, which provide for the Auburn police chief to oversee massage business inspections and licensing, were approved Monday by the City Council.

The ordinance was adopted on a 5-0 vote and is to go into effect Aug. 8.

Lauren McLachlan, a massage therapist working in Roseville, told the council that there were no objections to the dress requirements but asked for a change in the new regulations that would allow volunteers to more easily work during the Western States 100 and Placer High Sober Grad Night events.

“We understand (the rules are being put in place) to fight human traffickers and gang prostitution hiding behind our good profession,” McLachlan said.

Sexual activity during paid massage services is taboo, the new rules say, as is the presence of any type of alarm that could alert customers and employees to the presence of law enforcement. A bell at the door to announce a customer and fire alarms are still allowed, however.

Also prohibited are rear or side entrances for customers. A front door would be required at a massage business for all customer and employee entrances and exits. And the business is to stay unlocked during business hours, unless employees have left the premises.

Massage businesses will also be open to inspection during business hours by the police chief or officers, the fire chief or chief building official the new ordinance dictates.

The rules are intended to regulate misconduct “substantially related to the peace, health or safety of the public,” the new ordinance states.

Public Safety Director John Ruffcorn said that the city encourages the ethical practice of massage therapy as an important healing art while working to prevent and discourage the misuse of massage therapy as a front for prostitution activities.