When massage therapists are employed by spas, salons, clinics, hospitals and various employers, they often do not have a voice on things like hourly wage and benefits. Many (if not MOST) are misclassified as independent contractors which denies them the benefits such as unemployment (which many have found out with the COVID-19 Pandemic. Independent contractors usually are not allowed to collect unemployment.
The challenges of figuring out which status is correct is often left up to uninformed business owners. Massage therapist are often subject to having to work on people who have contraindications or on people who have health conditions that the massage therapist is not trained to work on.
Massage Employers take advantage of massage therapists by creating unfair pay structures paying them as piece workers where you are paid for each massage that you give rather than a regular hourly or salaried employee. If the employee is not busy, they don’t make much. On the other hand many can make more if they do work on more clients. The pay schedules are not even.
Benefits such as sick time, paid vacations, retirement funds make it difficult to earn a good living.
Advocacy Work for employees
- Work for better pay that does not depend on the number of clients you have.
- Work for higher and consistent hourly wage.
- Work for better benefits such as sick pay, vacation pay, health insurance, retirement benefits.
- Look into options for Unionizing.