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NEWS
Equinox tells HCM it plans to fight $11.25m race discrimination ruling
POSTED 02 Jun 2023 . BY Tom Walker
Equinox says it will fight the court's race discrimination ruling Credit: Shutterstock/Michael Vi
Equinox has been ordered to pay out US$11.25m to a former employee
Röbynn Europe, a black female fitness trainer, claimed she was discriminated against
In response, Equinox said Europe was sacked due to being repeatedly late for work
Equinox lost the court case – but "vehemently disagrees" with the decision and will appeal
Lifestyle brand Equinox has told HCM it plans to fight a ruling by the US courts that it must pay pay US$11.25m to a former employee who claimed she was discriminated against due to race, saying it "vehemently disagrees with the jury’s finding".

Röbynn Europe, a black female personal trainer, started work at Equinox's club on 92nd Street in New York in November 2018, but was sacked in September 2019. The ensuing court case has just concluded.

According to Europe, during her time working for Equinox she made multiple complaints to management about being subjected to a racially hostile environment at the club.

She sued the company in September 2020, citing unlawful dismissal and discrimination, testifying that a manager who reported to her often made inappropriate comments about black women's bodies, diverted personal training clients away from employees of colour and harassed staff with offensive language.

In response, Equinox denied the claims and said her dismissal was purely down to bad attendance.

Equinox said she had twice been warned about being late for work. Despite this, the company said she had been late for work on nine occasions in approximately three weeks during September 2019, as well as a further 15 times out of 22 scheduled shifts in August 2019.

In court, the jury found in her favour, agreeing that she had been subject to a hostile working environment.

Europe did not contest the allegations about her late arrival at work but showed that other trainers who were late on a similar number of occasions were not disciplined or sacked. She also presented evidence to show that she had never missed a client appointment and often stayed late when needed.

She was awarded US$1.25m in compensatory damages and $10m in punitive damages, as well as $16,000 in economic damages representing back pay.

Equinox denies the accusations of discrimination and is looking to overturn the decision.

Speaking to HCM, a spokesperson said: “We do not tolerate discrimination in any form.

"This was a case of termination for performance that relates to attendance and nothing more. Her claims of bias are completely baseless and uncorroborated

"We worked with Ms. Europe over a period of months to address repeated issues related to her tardiness and attendance (arriving late 47 times during her 11 months with the company), which she agreed needed improvement.

"Other employees have been terminated for similar patterns of tardiness and attendance."

Susan Crumiller, Europe lawyer from feminist litigation firm Crumiller, said: “We could not be more thrilled with this outcome. The jury sent a loud message to Equinox that there are serious consequences for corporations that permit racist and sexist behavior in the workplace.

"We are also pleased the jury found Equinox’s racism had a severe and lasting impact on Röbynn’s mental health and that she deserved to be compensated for it," said Crumiller. "Let this be a warning to all businesses in New York that if you try to brush harassment and discrimination under the rug, you will not get away with it.”

HCM will report on the appeal in due course.

The full verdict of the case can be accessed and read here.

Equinox Group has a portfolio of wellness brands with 300 properties globally, including Equinox Fitness, Equinox Hotels, SoulCycle, Blink Fitness, Equinox Media, Pure Yoga, Furthermore and Precision Run.

It also launched E by Equinox, a high-end, customised wellness offering which functions out of two clubs – in London and New York.

The company’s Equinox+ App gives access to on-demand workouts, recovery and mental health support from Equinox, SoulCycle, Solidcore, TB12, Pure Yoga, Precision Run and HeadStrong.
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Lifestyle brand, Equinox has signed a deal with eight high-end consumer brands to create a new loyalty programme of benefits for members.
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Luxury fitness chain Equinox hit headlines with its new year membership campaign that banned new members from joining on 1 January.
  Equinox and SoulCycle to require proof of vaccine at their studios


Equinox Group will require customers and employees to provide proof of vaccine, if they want to enter its Equinox clubs, SoulCycle studios and corporate offices.
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News   Products   Magazine   Subscribe
NEWS
Equinox tells HCM it plans to fight $11.25m race discrimination ruling
POSTED 02 Jun 2023 . BY Tom Walker
Equinox says it will fight the court's race discrimination ruling Credit: Shutterstock/Michael Vi
Equinox has been ordered to pay out US$11.25m to a former employee
Röbynn Europe, a black female fitness trainer, claimed she was discriminated against
In response, Equinox said Europe was sacked due to being repeatedly late for work
Equinox lost the court case – but "vehemently disagrees" with the decision and will appeal
Lifestyle brand Equinox has told HCM it plans to fight a ruling by the US courts that it must pay pay US$11.25m to a former employee who claimed she was discriminated against due to race, saying it "vehemently disagrees with the jury’s finding".

Röbynn Europe, a black female personal trainer, started work at Equinox's club on 92nd Street in New York in November 2018, but was sacked in September 2019. The ensuing court case has just concluded.

According to Europe, during her time working for Equinox she made multiple complaints to management about being subjected to a racially hostile environment at the club.

She sued the company in September 2020, citing unlawful dismissal and discrimination, testifying that a manager who reported to her often made inappropriate comments about black women's bodies, diverted personal training clients away from employees of colour and harassed staff with offensive language.

In response, Equinox denied the claims and said her dismissal was purely down to bad attendance.

Equinox said she had twice been warned about being late for work. Despite this, the company said she had been late for work on nine occasions in approximately three weeks during September 2019, as well as a further 15 times out of 22 scheduled shifts in August 2019.

In court, the jury found in her favour, agreeing that she had been subject to a hostile working environment.

Europe did not contest the allegations about her late arrival at work but showed that other trainers who were late on a similar number of occasions were not disciplined or sacked. She also presented evidence to show that she had never missed a client appointment and often stayed late when needed.

She was awarded US$1.25m in compensatory damages and $10m in punitive damages, as well as $16,000 in economic damages representing back pay.

Equinox denies the accusations of discrimination and is looking to overturn the decision.

Speaking to HCM, a spokesperson said: “We do not tolerate discrimination in any form.

"This was a case of termination for performance that relates to attendance and nothing more. Her claims of bias are completely baseless and uncorroborated

"We worked with Ms. Europe over a period of months to address repeated issues related to her tardiness and attendance (arriving late 47 times during her 11 months with the company), which she agreed needed improvement.

"Other employees have been terminated for similar patterns of tardiness and attendance."

Susan Crumiller, Europe lawyer from feminist litigation firm Crumiller, said: “We could not be more thrilled with this outcome. The jury sent a loud message to Equinox that there are serious consequences for corporations that permit racist and sexist behavior in the workplace.

"We are also pleased the jury found Equinox’s racism had a severe and lasting impact on Röbynn’s mental health and that she deserved to be compensated for it," said Crumiller. "Let this be a warning to all businesses in New York that if you try to brush harassment and discrimination under the rug, you will not get away with it.”

HCM will report on the appeal in due course.

The full verdict of the case can be accessed and read here.

Equinox Group has a portfolio of wellness brands with 300 properties globally, including Equinox Fitness, Equinox Hotels, SoulCycle, Blink Fitness, Equinox Media, Pure Yoga, Furthermore and Precision Run.

It also launched E by Equinox, a high-end, customised wellness offering which functions out of two clubs – in London and New York.

The company’s Equinox+ App gives access to on-demand workouts, recovery and mental health support from Equinox, SoulCycle, Solidcore, TB12, Pure Yoga, Precision Run and HeadStrong.
RELATED STORIES
Julia Klim announces Equinox Circle loyalty programme


Lifestyle brand, Equinox has signed a deal with eight high-end consumer brands to create a new loyalty programme of benefits for members.
Equinox suspends member sign-ups in controversial new year membership campaign


Luxury fitness chain Equinox hit headlines with its new year membership campaign that banned new members from joining on 1 January.
Equinox and SoulCycle to require proof of vaccine at their studios


Equinox Group will require customers and employees to provide proof of vaccine, if they want to enter its Equinox clubs, SoulCycle studios and corporate offices.
MORE NEWS
Report identifies diversity, equity and inclusion challenges in health club sector
Diversity, equity and inclusion in the European fitness industry is examined in a new report which provides eye-opening findings and a starting point for change.
RLA Global: Wellness hotels experience positive growth trend globally in 2023
Hotels incorporating wellness amenities experienced a significant boost in Total Revenue per Available Room (TRevPAR) in 2023, according to the latest Wellness Real Estate Report by RLA Global, produced in partnership with P&L benchmarking firm HotStats.
World leaders gather at luxury Italian wellness retreat Borgo Egnazia for G7 Summit
The 2024 G7 Summit is now underway at a destination spa resort in Puglia, Italy, with leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US convening to address some of the world’s most urgent issues.
Minor devises new medi-wellness concept for Anantara, debuting in Phuket in Q3
Minor Hotels CEO Dillip Rajakarier has unveiled plans to introduce an innovative medi-wellness concept to the group's Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas brand, with ambitions to expand the concept to additional resorts in the future.
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Metawell: unlocking the possibilities in a new era of wellness
A decade ago, the Gharieni Group began pioneering the integration of advanced wellness technologies into its spa and treatment beds. This innovative approach has since become one of the industry's most significant disruptions and groundbreaking trends. [more...]

Discover the perfect blend of style, innovation and flexibility with Living Earth Crafts’ Insignia 2.0 Ellipse
Living Earth Crafts has launched the new Insignia 2.0 Ellipse™ Multi-purpose Treatment Table, combining award-winning comfort and striking design aesthetics with operational excellence. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
myndstream

Music is often underutilised as a therapeutic tool in the spa setting.

Myndstream are on [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

22-22 Jun 2024

World Bathing Day

Worldwide,
22-24 Jun 2024

IECSC Las Vegas

Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, United States
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2024

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
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