Equinox pays $11.25 million in lawsuit for discrimination against former employee

“In coastal cities, working out is something you can do without a degree and you can make $75 an hour — there aren’t many opportunities to do that, so it’s a big draw for people of color.” But the management structure, she noted, is often white and male.

In response to the verdict, Equinox did not engage in the current fashion for self-blame and vowed to do better. Instead, it issued a statement saying it “strongly disagrees” with the finding and “does not tolerate discrimination of any kind”. In the motion filed asking the court to reconsider the case, either through a new trial or a reduction in the award, attorneys alleged that the jurors, “guided by sympathy and emotion,” “mistakenly” had agreed to the plaintiff’s claim. that she had been a victim of racial animus and had “inflicted extreme, unscrupulous harm” as a result.

The case largely revolved around allegations that a manager reporting to Ms. Europe, a middle-aged white man she said was isolated by his relationships with people above her, refused to accept her as his supervisor. She claimed that he had repeatedly expressed his vulgar view of black women’s bodies, calling non-white employees “lazy” and expressing the hope that he could get them fired; he called a black colleague “autistic.”

In early spring 2019, the suit alleged, he “demanded” his boss wait with him outside the gym for a young black woman to leave a cafe where she worked so he could pass her, on the theory that he’d better be positioned with a black person standing next to him. Ms. Europe, according to the complaint, “refused to be a racial pawn.”

The accumulation of these incidents, she testified, made her time at Equinox so stressful that the bulimia she had struggled with for much of her life got worse. While working there, Mrs. Europe me, her condition was so bad that she began to vomit and vomit blood several times a day; she eventually had to enter an eating disorder treatment program. Her attorneys, all women at Crumiller, which describes itself as “a feminist law firm,” argued that their client’s complaints to male bosses went unheard.

Leave a comment