[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Bridgewater 12-7-2009 by Ord. No. 09-16. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Licensing and permits — See Ch. 129.
Body art licensing and procedures — See Ch. 169.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the licensing of massage therapists and the registration of massage establishments in accordance with the requirements and criteria set forth hereinafter and to provide for the regulation thereof pending the adoption, by the New Jersey Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy established pursuant to Section 14 of the Act, of rules regulating the practice of massage and bodywork therapies in accordance with the Massage and Bodywork Therapist Licensing Act of 2008.
No person shall own a business for the purpose of providing a massage service, be engaged or employed as a massage practitioner or therapist for whom any form of compensation is charged or accepted without the massage practitioner or therapist having first obtained a license from the Township and the massage establishment having first obtained registration from the Township.
For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and terms herein are defined as follows:
- CERTIFIED OR LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPIST PRACTITIONER
- Either a person who is certified by the State of New Jersey to provide massage, bodywork and somatic services pursuant to the Massage, Bodywork, and Somatic Therapist Certification Act of 1999 or a person who has obtained a massage therapist license pursuant to this chapter.
- Any person other than a massage practitioner who renders any service in connection with the operation of a massage business and receives compensation from the operator of the business or patrons.
- HEALTH AUTHORITY
- A registered environmental health specialist, health officer or authorized designee representing the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services or the Bridgewater Township Health Department or Somerset County Health Department.
- MASSAGE, BODYWORK AND SOMATIC THERAPIES
- Refers to systems of activity of structured touch which include, but are not limited to, holding, applying pressure, and mobilizing soft tissue of the body by manual technique and the use of visual, kinesthetic, auditory and palpating skills to assess the body for the purpose of applying therapeutic massage, bodywork or somatic principles. Such applications may include, but are not limited to, the use of therapies such as heliotherapy, the use of moist hold and cold external applications, external applications of herbal or topical preparations not classified as prescription drugs, movement and neural myofascial education and education in self-care and stress management.
- MASSAGE, BODYWORK AND SOMATIC THERAPY ESTABLISHMENT
- Any establishment having a fixed place of business where any person, firm, association, or corporation engages in, carries on, or permits to be engaged in or carried on any of the activities mentioned in the definition of "massage, bodywork, or somatic therapies."
- MASSAGE, BODYWORK AND SOMATIC THERAPY PRACTITIONER
- A person, whether or not certified by the State of New Jersey, who provides massage, bodywork or somatic therapy as defined by this chapter.
- Any person who receives a massage or associated therapy under such circumstances that it is reasonably expected that he or she will pay money or give other consideration therefor.
- Any individual, copartnership, firm, association, joint-stock company, corporation or combination of individuals of whatever form of character.
- The owner and/or operator of a massage, bodywork, or somatic therapy establishment.
- SEXUAL OR GENITAL AREA
- Genitals, anus or perineum of any person, or the breasts or vulva of a female.
No person shall operate a massage, bodywork or somatic therapy establishment in the Township without obtaining from the Township Health Department a massage establishment registration document. The registration to operate shall not be transferable, must be renewed annually, and shall continue in force until the last day of the 12th month following the issuance of the license, unless removed, and subject to revocation and/or suspension in accordance with § 138-12. The person operating a massage establishment shall prominently display licenses issued by the Township.
No person, other than a person certified by the State of New Jersey pursuant to the Massage, Bodywork, and Somatic Therapist Certification Act of 1999 shall work as a massage therapist practitioner in the Township without first obtaining from the Township Health Department a massage therapist practitioner license, which shall be in the form of a photo identification card issued by the Township Police Department.
The Department of Health may refer the application to other Township departments, which departments may inspect and, if inspected, make written recommendations.
No massage, bodywork or somatic therapy establishment shall be issued a registration or be operated, established or maintained in the Township unless an inspection by the Health Officer, Building Inspector, and Fire Official reveals that the establishment complies with the minimum requirements of the building and health codes for businesses operating in the Township of Bridgewater.
The floor plans for the proposed facility must be submitted to the Board of Health as part of the application so they can be reviewed and approved by the Board of Health and so that the Board of Health can advise the applicant of potential concerns prior to the opening of the business.
Massage establishment. No such registration shall be issued to any person(s):
Under 18 years of age.
Convicted of a crime of moral turpitude or any sex-related offenses.
Unless the person is in compliance with the standards and applicable laws, if any, pertaining to massage therapy as regulated by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and/or the Department of Law and Public Safety.
Unless the applicant completes a comprehensive written application, in a form to be provided by the Police Department, which application is to include photographing and fingerprinting by the Police Department, and prior residence and employment of the last 10 years, to include addresses and points of contact.
Unless an initial registration fee of $150 is paid to the Township of Bridgewater. An additional fee will be charged for State Police fingerprinting, made payable to New Jersey State Bureau of Investigation.
Unless that person has disclosed the funding source for opening the establishment and all parties who hold an interest in the establishment of 10% or greater.
Massage therapist practitioner. No such license shall be issued to any person:
Under the age of 18.
Convicted of a crime of moral turpitude or any sex-related offenses.
Unless documentary proof is submitted establishing the applicant's satisfactory completion of a course of massage therapy with a minimum of 500 hours in a school recognized by the Department of Education or that person is a member of a nationally recognized massage therapy association.
Unless that person is in compliance with the standards and applicable laws pertaining to massage therapy as regulated by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
Unless documentary proof of liability insurance is submitted.
Unless the applicant provides an affidavit from a duly licensed physician of the State of New Jersey establishing that the applicant is free from communicable and contagious diseases, within 30 days of the date of application.
Unless the applicant completes a comprehensive written application, in a form to be provided by the Township Police Department to include among other things a description of the applicant to include photographing and fingerprinting and prior residence and employment of the last 10 years to include addresses and points of contact.
Unless an annual license fee of $60 per massage therapist is paid to the Township of Bridgewater.
Owner/operator of a massage establishment functioning as a massage therapist practitioner. If the owner(s) and/or operator(s) of the massage establishment wishes to also engage in the services performed by a massage therapist, such owner or operator either must be certified by the State of New Jersey pursuant to the Massage, Bodywork, and Somatic Therapist Certification Act of 1999 or must first obtain a massage therapist practitioner license from the Township Health Department in accordance with the requirements of § 138-5B hereinabove.
Every registration and license shall be displayed in a conspicuous place within the massage establishment so that persons entering the premises may readily see same. Every registration and license issued pursuant to this chapter shall include a photograph of the person to whom the license is issued.
Massage establishment. Every massage establishment registration issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire December 31 of each calendar year or unless sooner suspended or revoked and may be renewed upon compliance with the registration requirements above, except that the renewal fee shall be $100 annually.
Massage therapist practitioner. Every massage therapist practitioner license issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire December 31 of each calendar year or unless sooner suspended or revoked and may be renewed upon compliance with the licensure requirements above.
All massage establishments that are operated in the Township shall comply with the following sanitation and hygiene standards:
All equipment, shower stalls, toilets, lavatories, and any other such appliances of the establishment shall be regularly treated with disinfectants and shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition at all times.
Uniform Construction Code officials, Health Authority, fire prevention officials, plumbing, electric and building inspectors shall be given access to any part of a massage and/or somatic therapies business for the purposes of inspection at all times the establishment is open for operation. Refusal to permit entry by any of the above officials or obstruction of any investigation shall be grounds for revocation of license.
No massage and somatic therapies business shall knowingly serve any patron infected with fungus or other skin infections, nor shall service be performed on any patron exhibiting skin inflammation or eruptions, provided that a duly licensed physician may certify that a person may be safely served, prescribing the conditions thereof.
All personnel shall wash their hands in hot running water, using liquid hand soap and disinfectant directly before and after giving any service or treatment to each separate patron.
All personnel, including massage therapist practitioners, shall wear clean, nontransparent garments, covering the sexual and genital areas.
Nondisposable tools and instruments shall be disinfected with recognized and approved agents after use upon any patron.
The sexual or genital area of patrons must be covered by towels or undergarments when in the presence of an employee or massage therapist.
It shall be unlawful for any person, knowingly, in a massage establishment, to place his or her hand upon, to touch with any part of his or her body, or to fondle in any manner a sexual or genital area of any other person.
No massage therapist, employee or operator shall perform, offer or agree to perform, any act which would require the touching of the patron's genital area.
Price rates for all services shall be prominently posted in the reception area and in each massage room in a location available to all prospective customers. Such posting shall include a statement as follows: "Pursuant to the ordinance of the Township of Bridgewater: The genital areas of all customers shall be covered at all times when in the presence of an employee or massage therapist. No employee or massage therapist shall touch or fondle in any manner the sexual or genital area of any person. Any person or customer violating this ordinance shall be subject to prosecution under this and applicable state law."
All massage, bodywork and somatic therapy establishments shall provide clean laundered sheets and towels which shall be laundered after each use thereof and stored in a sanitary manner.
All walls, ceilings, floors, pools, showers, bathtubs, steam rooms and all other physical facilities shall be in good repair and maintained in a clean and sanitary condition. Wet and dry heat rooms, steam or vapor rooms or steam or vapor cabinets and shower compartments and toilet rooms shall be thoroughly cleaned each day the business is in operation. Bathtubs and showers shall be thoroughly cleaned after each use. When carpeting is used on floors, it shall be kept dry.
Oils, creams, lotions and other preparations used in administering massage, bodywork or somatic therapies shall be kept in clean closed containers or cabinets when not in use.
Animals, except for Seeing Eye or similar service dogs, shall not be permitted in the massage work area.
No part of any quarters of any massage, bodywork, or somatic therapies business shall be used for or connected with any bedroom or sleeping quarters, nor shall any person sleep in such massage, bodywork, or somatic therapies business except for limited periods incidental to and directly related to a massage or bath. This provision shall not preclude the location of a massage, bodywork, or somatic therapies business in separate quarters of a building housing a hotel or other separate businesses or clubs.
The conviction of any applicant, registrant or licensee of any criminal offense, or sanitary code violation related to the registrant or licensee's business or any sex-related offense shall constitute a forfeiture of his or her registration and/or license, and the registration and/or license shall be deemed revoked.
Each registrant and licensee shall be deemed responsible for a clean and safe business operation on the premises. The violation of any state law or regulation which governs the activity of the massage therapist or massage bodywork or somatic body establishment, the provisions of this chapter or any applicable local ordinance or regulation at said premises shall be grounds for the revocation of the registration and/or licenses of all registration and/or license operation on the premises.
Any violation by the registrant and/or licensee of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be grounds for the immediate revocation of a registration and/or license. However, the registration and/or license shall not be revoked until a hearing therein shall have been had before the Bridgewater Board of Health with recommendations from the Board to the Mayor. Written notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be served upon the registrant and/or licensee at least 72 hours prior to the date set for such a hearing. Such notice shall also contain a brief statement of the grounds to be relied upon for revoking the registration and/or license. Notice may be given either by personal delivery or by regular mail to the address listed on the registration and/or license. At the hearing before the Bridgewater Board of Health, the registrant and/or licensee shall have an opportunity to answer and may thereafter be heard, and upon due consideration and deliberation by the Bridgewater Board of Health, the registration and/or license may be revoked or the complaint may be dismissed. The Mayor shall review the recommendations of the Board of Health and advise the registrant within 10 days of the Board's recommendation of the final decision.
The Department of Health, Police Department, Code Enforcement, Township Engineer, Township Fire Officials and other Township departments may make unannounced inspections of each massage, body work, or somatic therapy establishment granted a registration under the provisions of this chapter for the purpose of determining whether the provisions of this chapter are complied with. Such inspections shall be conducted at any time the establishment is open for business. It shall be unlawful for any registrant to fail to allow such inspection officer access to the premises or to hinder such official in any manner.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, by a fine not exceeding $2,000, and/or by a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, in the discretion of the judge of the municipal court. In addition to the foregoing, any person convicted of violating the requirements of § 138-3 or 138-4 shall be punished by a minimum fine of $200 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense, and license revocation and a fine and jail term as set forth above for the third offense.
A violation of any section of this chapter shall also be grounds for revocation of any registration and/or license, certificate of occupancy or permit issued by the Township of Bridgewater for the premises.
Every day that the provisions of this chapter are violated by any person, as defined herein, shall be a separate and distinct violation of this chapter.
The requirements of this chapter shall have no application and effect upon any physician, surgeon, chiropractor, osteopath, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician's assistant, or physical therapist duly licensed to practice such professions in this state. Nor shall it apply to any New Jersey State certified massage or bodyworks therapist who has been certified under the most current applicable law.
Nor shall it apply to any school certified to teach massage by the New Jersey Department of Education.
An individual working within an establishment where the owner is licensed by the municipality or certified by the state shall have 30 days to apply for state certification and must be successfully approved.
The Massage, Bodywork and Somatic Therapist Certification Act became effective on August 8, 1999, in the State of New Jersey. This Act only applies to the certification of persons who perform massage, bodywork and somatic therapy and not to the location where they practice. Once the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs establishes a New Jersey Board of Massage, Bodywork and Somatic Therapy, rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the purpose of the Act will become standard. Wherever referenced in this chapter, it is the intent to incorporate these standards, once adopted, by reference in this chapter.
No person in any advertisement shall state that a massage and bodyworks establishment is registered with the Department of Health or is certified in compliance with this chapter by the local board of health.
No person or massage establishment shall state or imply that the local board of health approves of any activity performed in a facility registered by the Department.