In a groundbreaking legal decision, a former Equinox gym trainer from New York City has recently been awarded a staggering $11.25 million following her successful lawsuit against her previous employer. The trainer, Robynn Europe, aged 39 and an accomplished bodybuilder, challenged her dismissal after accumulating forty-seven instances of tardiness in less than a year. Europe firmly contended that her termination was driven by racial discrimination rather than her repeated lateness.
According to court documents, Equinox claimed that Europe was fired solely due to her habitual tardiness. However, compelling evidence emerged, demonstrating that other trainers, who happened to be Caucasian, had also been consistently late but were not subjected to termination.
Residing a considerable seventeen miles away from the Equinox gym on 92nd Street in Manhattan’s affluent Upper East Side neighborhood, Europe called Coney Island in Brooklyn her home. The jury ultimately ruled that the former Equinox trainer endured a hostile work environment and was wrongfully terminated based on her race and gender, contrary to the gym’s stated reasons for dismissal.
Within her lawsuit, Europe made unsettling allegations against Christopher Maltman, a manager responsible for reporting her tardiness. She accused Maltman of frequently making offensive remarks regarding the physiques of Black women. Furthermore, she claimed that he deliberately steered clients away from Black personal trainers and regularly subjected staff to verbal abuse and offensive language.
Europe’s legal representation argued that her termination was a consequence of being both Black and a woman, while the gym attempted to justify their decision by citing her tardiness. Alarmingly, despite his appalling management practices, Maltman remains employed by Equinox.
Europe’s attorney, Susan Crumiller, denounced Equinox’s conduct as “appalling” and expressed gratitude for the justice served in court. Crumiller stated, “This victory not only benefits our client but also stands as a triumph for all Black women who have endured the toxic combination of racism and sexism, which regrettably persists in workplaces. We are immensely proud of Röbynn for her unwavering determination to hold Equinox accountable for their abhorrent misogynoir.”
In an interview with the New York Times, Europe shared her extensive experience as a trainer since 2006. She utilized her career in the fitness industry to fuel her passion for bodybuilding, eventually achieving professional status. Europe highlighted the prevalence of racism and sexism within the fitness industry, where positions of power are predominantly held by white males. She also acknowledged that training becomes an attractive prospect for people of color in coastal cities due to the potential to earn $75 per hour without a degree.
Now, we turn to you, our valued readers. What are your thoughts on this remarkable triumph in her lawsuit against the gym? Share your opinion on Facebook and join the conversation.