2006 Code of Virginia § 54.1-3205 - Practicing in a commercial or mercantile establishment

54.1-3205. Practicing in a commercial or mercantile establishment.

A. It shall be unlawful for any optometrist to practice his profession as alessee of or in a commercial or mercantile establishment, or to advertise,either in person or through any commercial or mercantile establishment, thathe is a licensed practitioner and is practicing or will practice optometry asa lessee of or in the commercial or mercantile establishment.

B. No licensed optometrist shall practice optometry as an employee, directlyor indirectly, of a commercial or mercantile establishment, unless suchcommercial or mercantile establishment was employing a full-time licensedoptometrist in its established place of business on June 21, 1938.

C. For the purposes of this section, the term "commercial or mercantileestablishment" means a business enterprise engaged in the selling ofcommodities.

D. For the purposes of this section, an optometrist shall be deemed to bepracticing in a commercial or mercantile establishment if he practices,whether directly or indirectly, as an officer, employee, lessee or agent ofany person or entity in any location that provides direct access to or from acommercial or mercantile establishment. Direct access includes any entranceor exit, except an entrance or exit closed to the public and used solely foremergency egress pursuant to applicable state and local building and firesafety codes, that prohibits a person from exiting the building or structureoccupied by such practice or establishment (i) onto an exterior sidewalk orpublic way or (ii) into a common area that is not under the control of eitherthe optometry practice or the commercial or mercantile establishment, such asinto the common areas of an enclosed shopping mall. For the purposes of thissection, neither an optometric practice nor an ophthalmologic practice whichsells eyeglasses or contact lenses ancillary to its practice shall be deemeda commercial or mercantile establishment. Further, any entity that is engagedin the sale of eyeglasses or contact lenses, the majority of the beneficialownership of which is owned by an ophthalmologic practice and/or one or moreophthalmologists, shall not be deemed a commercial or mercantileestablishment.

E. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the rendering ofprofessional services to the officers and employees of any person, firm orcorporation by an optometrist, whether or not the compensation for suchservice is paid by the officers and employees, or by the employer, or jointlyby all or any of them.

(Code 1950, 54-388, 54-397.1; 1968, c. 505; 1976, c. 758; 1977, c. 161;1979, c. 39; 1988, c. 765; 2005, cc. 711, 720.)

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