Labor (formerly Illicit Massage) Committee - September 9, 2016 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
September 9, 2016 - 12:30pm
City Hall Room 421
San Francisco, CA 94066

Labor Committee Meeting
Mayor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking

  1. Call to order

The meeting was called to order at 12:35 PM


Minouche Kandel

Hediana Utarti

Menica Mahajan

Luis Tenorio, Mayor’s Office of Small Business and UC Berkeley

Emily Sims

Antonia Lavine, SFCAHT

Aradhana Tawari, fellow with ELC;

Patrick Fosdahl, Environmental Health at DPH

Angelina, SFUSD
Kristy, Department of Public Health
Gladys Cooker
Beverly May, California Massage Therapy Council

II.   Identifying a Minute-Taker for the Meeting
     Luis Tenorio volunteered to take minutes for the meeting.

III. Update on Collaborating Healthy Nails Program at SF Nail Salons.

  • Feedback from PowerPoint deck reviewers was that it was too long at 29 slides.
  • We are looking at a limit of 15 minutes of additional information on top of the existing training of the Healthy Nails Program.
  • There is still work being done so that the slide deck can be translated into Vietnamese.
  • Background: The Healthy Nails Program has been working for 4-6 months working with Department of Environment in this project. Nail salons in the city can voluntarily be a part of the Healthy Nails program to avoid toxic chemicals, proper ventilation systems, special training etc. Completion of the program provides the group a plaque to let people know that they have made this investment in their employees and their safety. Certification happens every two years to remain a part of the program. After New York Times expose on nail salons, Mayor’s Task Force wanted to take this existing program to incorporate information on labor rights and human trafficking. This would be in addition to the training already part of the program.


  • Why just translating into Vietnamese – 90% of those working in nail salons are Vietnamese-speakers.
  • Population being reached based on registered businesses – it is estimated 35 that are certificated and ten (est.) in the process. There are an est. 200 salons in the city however


  1. Creating a “one-pager” on the project
  • There were no volunteers to write the one-pager.
  • The suggestion was made that a link to the project be sent out to people can find more information on their own and then decide if they can volunteer their time and if it speaks to their interest.
  • It was also mentioned that an incoming intern may be able to take up this task.


  • Key messages for the one pager: What the program is? What our need is to get the word out to the public?
  • Can you buy ad space on BART? Department on Environment tried last year, so there is speculation of whether it is an efficient route to go through in terms of the cost of hiring someone to conduct and produce the ad campaign as well as the production of the ad campaign. The target is Yelp and Google because of the user traffic that they already attract and the unique visibility it provides. Once this is in place, we will figure out how consumer outreach can be driven to then drive salons to want to be part of the program. Outreach has been done through Yelp – though there has not been much progress. Outreach has also been done to Google.
  • Bureau of Cosmetology  - can pay $275 to get a complete list.

IV. and V. Update on Departmental of Public Health Outreach Workers & Check in on Human Trafficking & Massage Establishment Efforts

  • Connect program is starting its model with massage establishments in San Francisco. Places that are identified by partners in Environment Health that are part of regular inspections.
  • Developing outreach material currently with Environmental Health individuals.
  • One of the current focuses is: assessing what people’s needs are – how to find accesses to services, what minimum wage is, etc.
  • Support is being created for both managers and practitioners.
  • Some material is ready; the next step is to gather a focus group (potentially even including nail practitioners) 
  • Connect staff has been trained – a training which Hediana led.
  • Purposing a partnership with SF State’s Public Health and Nursing program so that students can do an internship with connect; this will also interject a health perspective and assist in creating a safe space in this work.
  • Thoughts are floating around of blood pressure checks and other incentives.
  • Requests are being made that interns speak Cantonese or Vietnamese.
  • Program was issued cell phone to communicate with individuals via text as a sort of “help line.”
  • Manager trust is important – they are the gatekeepers to doing this work.


  • If they are being paid, and they are being sexually exploited but not being trafficked? In these cases, the legal policies of lude conduct apply. Task force inspections are part of the way this is investigated, but targeted toward institutions of prostitution. The penalty is placed against the owner and generally practitioners have their licenses pulled. Though they generally attend the hearing separately. Sometimes owners that are not in the case will attend the case hearings.
  • Outreach program should also look at know your rights sort of training.
  • How to figure out where you will do outreach? How do you distinguish legitimate establishments and those that have prohibited behavior? What is the difference in who has filed, who has registered? There are about 270-300 massage establishments in SF. Permitted by the Health Department. About 1500 practitioners in this SF industry. Experience about 30 but as high as 50% involved in illegal activity. This is determined based on the fact that everyone is inspected twice a year.
  • If they are permitted, then they are also registered businesses? Yes.
  • When conducting inspection, what do you look for? Things often specific to Health Department regulations such as hot/cold water, whether people are licensed, sanitation, and other things such as code violations such as alcohol, laundry facilities, attire, being open at 10 PM, etc.

VI. Identifying other agencies to participate in committee.

  • Report on Human Trafficking – suggestion was to make sure that all stakeholders and agencies involved in this work listed and engaged.
  • Online training hosted on Stanford’s website – for hotel industry employees and business groups
  • Restaurants, hotels, and nail salons are the industries of focus at the moment.


-What industry? GGRA (Golden Gate Restaurant Association) given that the last general meeting it was mentioned that restaurants was going to be the next focus. There is an invested interest by certain officials to have associations at the table as this develops.

-Culinary Training Program at the City College – Chinatown Campus was suggested as a place to look given the partial restaurant focus.

-Suggestion to incorporate domestic workers. In fact, there has been outreach to individuals already

-Mexican consulate is interested in having trainings and serving as a space for this work. They have a history of strong involvement in Alameda County.

Young Workers United – just started a worker powerline to text them for questions.

-Child Labor? Is there still an influx of children? The short answer – yes. It is not just about people that are trafficked, but people that have been trafficked. It is important to inform the general public, let alone children, on what constitutes traffic.

-Child welfare agency? It has to intersect abuse and neglect for the welfare agency to get involved. Another problem is that a lot of young people want to work to send money home, etc. In such cases, self-determination is an obstacle.

-Legal Services for Children. Larkin Street is great given their work. Both generally already participate but they can be invited to come to this particular subcommittee.

- SFILDC would be good to invite.

-Senate Bill 1193 – requires people to post know your rights posters – how is that being enforced in the city? Few put it up. Department of Health though now checks certain businesses, which does help enforcement in certain industries that are required to put them up. State law mandated even the language of the poster (size of the font, etc.), which makes it text heavy, the information is not exactly as relevant such as the number for services given, not all businesses were covered, the language was not approachable for victims, etc.

-Alameda county developed an app based on the poster of the Senate Bill – color codes status. This helps enforcement

-Are there people that want to work on this? Address it at the next meeting. Robin can come in and talk about the app.

-Is there legislation being pushed by the committee? Nothing at the moment was the consensus.


VII. Next steps

  1. Agenda for next meeting: December 9, 2016, 12:30 PM-2:00 PM, City Hall, Room 421.



-Can the meeting be pushed later? Suggestion was made for 2:30 PM-4 PM.