Underwear inspections, spousal investigations, and a license to kill (your rights) — Cobb County’s waging a war on businesses.

No, this is not the Onion.  But “show me your underwear” could soon change from a TSA joke to an actual business inspector’s legitimate command to some small business owners in Cobb County.  The TSA now has some pretty stiff competition on the comic scene with these proposed amendments.  Essentially, the County is trying to regulate the “massage” and “health spa” businesses that give “other services” on the side.  Violating applicants’ rights is not the way to combat these much-hated businesses.


Let the naughty jokes begin… TSA style.

Cobb County assumes that no single person ever operates a health spa.  The proposed changes to the County code  violations to your Constitutional and privacy rights say that if you operate a health spa, your spouse will have to pass the requirements for the license.  There is no mention of girlfriends or other occupants of the household.

And on that license to kill (you rights) – Cobb County must’ve gotten inspiration from James Bond – buried in Sections 78-98 are references to a new requirement for business owners to waive all PAST, present, and future liabilities that the County risks being sued for.  Yes, you read that right… the County is known as one of the most forward-thinking counties in the region, which leads me to wonder just how many civil, human, and constitutional rights violations they plan to commit if they’re seeking blanket liability waiver requirements for business owners.  Specifically, food trucks.

Read through the whole package, here, and prepare to cross out “TSA” and rewrite Cobb County as one of the nation’s premier rights violators at large.

I have hosted the document here in case the County decides to “disappear” the embarrassing text: draft amendment package 1 (1)

This post ends with the email that I sent Commissioner Lisa Cupid detailing my thoughts on the new proposed amendments to the County code.  The vote has been delayed until sometime in March, so if you do not like what you see – please do not hesitate to contact the Cobb County Commissioners here: http://portal.cobbcountyga.gov/index.php?option=com_content&id=39&Itemid=156

See the text below for the contents of the e-mail:

Email — “Proposed Amendments – potential problems”

I’ve spotted a few potential issues with the proposed code amendments. 

Section 78-98 – it looks to me like the County gets a free license to commit acts that would normally result in litigation.

If a law allows something to be applied for by way of right to apply, it could be a duress situation if the applicant is “forced” to waive the use of legal remedies at law – the courts.  While the liability waiver is attractive from an insurance and liability standpoint, I object on the grounds that stripping applicants of a legal right by use of waiver is in of itself a violation of equal protection under the law.

Section 78-292 (a) – basically allows discrimination against minorities and could be challenged under a § 1983 civil rights suit.

(a) The applicant and licensee must be a U.S. Citizen or a legal alien for at least one year prior to making application.

— the above essentially strips new citizens of a core right to work – and creates a second-class citizen category.  I can see the ACLU and the SPLC throwing a fit on this proposed change under an equal protection under the law” type argument.

Section 78-292 (f) – looks like privacy rights are under attack – only IF the spouse works there, it should apply.

(f)  The county police department shall investigate the background and character … of both the applicant(s) and the licensee, and his/her spouse, who must meet the same requirements as the applicant and licensee, and employees of the establishment and report its recommendation to the business license division manager for a health spa license.

I am not sure if the code already initially included the spousal provision, but the idea that a spouse also has to undergo investigation without any consideration as to whether the spouse works there or not is a violation of privacy and is open to allowing the police to target citizens married to non-citizens.  It’s an unnecessary hurdle.

Section 78-293 – basically tosses the First Amendment into the trash.

(My thought when reading this — are we in North Korea???) See: Pg 43.

19 (c)  All employees and other persons on the premises, with the exception
20       of customers receiving a massage from a state licensed massage
21       therapist, shall be completely clothed at all times when administering
22       a massage. For the purposes of this article, the term “completely
23       clothed” means having on the upper portion of the body appropriate
24       undergarments and either blouse or shirt which shall cover all the
25       upper body save the arms and neck, and shall mean having on the
26       lower body appropriate undergarments plus either pants or skirt, and
27       said pants or skirt must cover from the waist down to a point at least
28       two inches above the knee. All clothes worn in compliance with this
29       article shall be entirely non-transparent.

I completely understand the fight against “massage parlors” as they are called, BUT, stripping a person of a First Amendment right is not the way to do it.  We do not need snide remarks and double entendres about Cobb County’s “close / clothes” inspections of people to ensure whether they are wearing the required underwear (cue a TSA type person “inspecting”)…  and yes, I do adhere to a far greater degree of modesty in dress than the average person, BUT, I am a First Amendment advocate for the rights of ALL citizens.



About Amy Barnes

Author has extensive experience in Retail, including two years as a supervisor. Educated in Psychology, Financial Accounting, Criminal Justice, and Programming. Work experience in Law Enforcement, Security (IT), Programming (REALBasic, SQL, VB, JAVA), Retail.
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1 Response to Underwear inspections, spousal investigations, and a license to kill (your rights) — Cobb County’s waging a war on businesses.

  1. Kenneth Paul says:

    so man common law violations and so much money to be made because of them.

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