During a civil trial, the woman expressed concerns about the pervasive racism and sexism she experienced in the fitness industry, including her time at Equinox. She shared her grievances regarding a white subordinate, a man in his forties, who allegedly used derogatory language and made inappropriate comments.
According to her testimony, the man referred to certain individuals as “lazy” and even questioned if a black colleague might be “autistic.” Additionally, she claimed that he sought her help in pursuing a romantic relationship with a black woman, which made her uncomfortable and offended.
Equinox defended itself against accusations of racism, stating that the woman was terminated due to her chronic lateness, totaling 47 instances. While she acknowledged her attendance record, she argued that her dismissal was ultimately based on her skin color.
In a significant verdict, a jury consisting of five women and three men, most of whom were white, sided with the plaintiff. They awarded her over $11 million in damages, including $10 million in punitive damages and an additional $1.25 million for her distress. The woman also mentioned that being fired exacerbated her existing eating disorder struggles, told Mail Online.
Equinox emphasized its commitment to zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind and criticized the jury’s decision, attributing it to the plaintiff’s emotional presentation during the trial. The company intends to challenge the awarded damages, referring to the ruling as “extreme” and “unconscionable.”