Luxury fitness gym company Equinox was found to have discriminated against and unlawfully fired fitness trainer Röbynn Europe in a trial that ended earlier this week. When Europe worked as a trainer at Equinox’s East 92nd Street location, she said she was subjected to a hostile work environment.
In a case argued and won by the self-styled feminist litigation firm Crumiller P.C., Europe alleged that Equinox knew about the racist and sexually inappropriate behavior at the gym. Europe had complained to the gym’s general manager and the company’s human resources when a male subordinate, Christopher Maltman, made inappropriate comments to her. Instead of disciplining Maltman, however, the company fired Europe herself fired for “lateness,” even though some seven other managers at the Equinox on East 92nd Street regularly clocked in late and were never disciplined.
A jury of five women and three men found that Equinox was at fault and had fired Europe based on both her race and gender. Röbynn Europe was awarded $11,250,000 in the verdict: $1,250,000 in compensatory damages and $10,000,000 in punitive damages.
“The civil justice system prevailed today,” Europe’s attorney Susan Crumiller said in a statement after the verdict was announced. “Equinox thought it could get away with its appalling behavior and a jury of New Yorkers said otherwise. 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. We could not be prouder of Röbynn for her relentless determination to hold Equinox accountable for its vile misogyny.”