A former Equinox employee, Röbynn Europe, who was fired, is claiming the termination stemmed from racial and gender discrimination. As a result, she filed suit, won and was awarded $11.25 million in damages after the gym franchise was found liable of race and gender discrimination per a report by Athletech News.
According to the outlet, Europe worked as a fitness manager Equinox’s East 92nd Street location in New York, and claimed the workplace culture was hostile. The fitness professional alleged that Equinox failed to investigate repeated racist and sexually inappropriate behaviors at its 92nd Street location and that the fitness club used “lateness” to target and fire her in September 2019, Athletic News said in a May 18 report.
Hired in November 2018 then quickly promoted a month later, Europe was responsible for supervising approximately 15 fitness employees, including a male fitness manager who was her subordinate. In her complaint, Europe implied that her upward move drew ire of the male manager, to which refused to accept her as his superior and told her numerous times informed her numerous times she shouldn’t be his supervisor. Additionally he was alleged to have said discriminatory remarks about her race, referring to Europe and other nonwhite employees as “lazy” and untrustworthy, and shared that he planned to get them fired from the company.
Europe reportedly shared her concerns with superiors, and instead of investigating Europe’s complaints, they fired her for tardiness.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which included a jury of five women and three men, saw the impropriety in the action.
“Equinox thought it could get away with its appalling behavior and a jury of New Yorkers said otherwise,” said Susan Crumiller, Europe’s attorney in a statement. “This is not just a victory for our client, but for all Black women who have suffered that noxious combination of racism and sexism that is too often tolerated in the workplace.”