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« IHRSA 2016 Session Spotlight: Discover How to Deliver Quality Member Service | Main | Value Proposition: Visual Fitness Planner »
Wednesday
Feb032016

2016 Legislative Threats: AEDs, Privacy, and More

This post is the fourth in a series of four case studies that demonstrate how IHRSA works to protect your health club from legislation that could harm your business. View the first post here, the second post here, and the third post here.

Over the last few weeks, IHRSA has highlighted threats posed by state legislatures to impose restrictions on health club membership contracts, limit access to qualified personal trainers, and to tax healthy lifestyles. While these are some of the issues that are likely to appear in multiple state legislatures, there are a number of other topics that could arise in 2016 and negatively impact your health club.

IHRSA’s Public Policy team has become very adept at predicting where we will fight battles and proactively work to mitigate threats. However, politics is inherently unpredictable, with lawmakers subject to pressure from constituents, current events, and their own ambitions. What follows are a few of the issues that could arise in your state in 2016.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

Currently, 11 states and the District of Columbia require health clubs to maintain an AED on premises. Given how states often borrow legislative language from one another, it is possible that each of the other 39 states could consider requiring clubs to house an AED at some point. For states that already have a mandate, there exists the threat of the law being changed to increase legal risks for clubs.

In every case, IHRSA works to ensure that bills mandating AEDs provide health club operators and staff with adequate liability protection for both the use and non-use of an AED, contain reasonable staffing requirements, and provide adequate compliance time. Heading into 2016, IHRSA anticipates extra attention will be given to the issue in Connecticut, Georgia, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Privacy

Over the last few years, one of the most commonly addressed issues by state legislatures across the country is that of extending civil rights protections to transgender individuals. IHRSA does not view this type of legislation, which grants necessary protections in regard to employment, housing, and education, as a threat.

However, IHRSA is working to educate lawmakers on how these laws uniquely impact health club locker rooms and may expose well-intentioned operators to increased legal risks. IHRSA expects the issue to continue to gain momentum, with a likelihood of every state giving some consideration to transgender rights, if they have not enacted a bill already (17 states have passed laws granting protections in places of public accommodation).

And more…

IHRSA deals with many types of legislation that could impact every aspect of your health club business. Childcare, spas, tanning, liability waivers—you name it. This year, we anticipate childcare and/or kids’ camps legislation in Arizona, California, Illinois, and Minnesota, rules for spas and pools in Massachusetts, and rules for clubs that offer tanning in almost every state. We are also keeping an eye out for proposals that would restrict or prohibit the use of liability waivers in clubs, an issue that could arise in any state in which consumer protection becomes a hot topic.

The best way for you to prepare for any one of these issues, or any other that might arise, is to stay well informed by subscribing to IHRSA’s Legislative Alerts and routinely visiting your state page. Also, if you hear of any other legal or legislative updates going on in your state, please share them with IHRSA and other clubs in your area.

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